The mood was already strained at West Virginia University as students hunkered down for finals in December. Then an employee found an anonymous letter in a men’s bathroom, embellished with illustrations and poetry, that threatened suicide in or around the student union at noon on Monday, Dec. 6.
Still reeling from a very public suicide of a 20-year-old business major in April, the university administration reacted swiftly. Officials posted a warning, highlighted in canary yellow, on the university’s website, pleading with the letter’s author to seek help, and asking students to be alert to their surroundings.
“While we do not know your personal circumstances, we do know this is a very stressful time of year,” the university wrote, adding, “You are not alone.”