Counseling services offered following student death

The Brandeis Psychological Counseling Center will hold a group session at 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Mailman House to provide support for students in the wake of the death Tuesday of a Brandeis undergraduate.

Katherine M. “Kat” Sommers ’14 was found dead Tuesday evening in her residence hall. Sommers, 18, of Queens, N.Y., apparently committed suicide.

Staff from Community Living, the Psychological Counseling Center and the Chaplaincy immediately reached out to Sommers’ friends and members of her residence community to help them cope with the shock and loss. Those efforts continued today.

“This is a deeply upsetting event for our tightly knit campus,” said Dean of Student Life Rick Sawyer. “President Lawrence, Father Walter Cuenin and I each spoke with members of Kat’s family Tuesday night and expressed profound sympathy of behalf of the entire Brandeis community.”

Friends described Sommers as very social and as an avid student of history. She participated in the Model United Nations program while in high school. Recently she had become involved with the campus humor magazine, Gravity.

In an email to the campus community, Sawyer urged students who feel a need to talk with someone about the tragic event or any other issues to contact his office or, if the need is urgent, the Department of Public Safety.

There will be a memorial walk in memory of Sommers and in support of her family and friends on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. from the Peace Circle near Usdan to Sherman Function Hall.

The university will hold a memorial service when students return from mid-term recess, which begins Friday.

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