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April 16, 2014

A message from President Seligman regarding heroin and other dangerous drugs

The campus community held a memorial service April 3 to remember Juliette Richard, a freshman from Bolton, Mass., who died in her room in Hoeing Hall Saturday, March 29. The investigation into her death continues.

President Joel Seligman issued the following message to the University community following Richard’s death:

“The cause of the tragic death of Juliette Richard is not known at this time. While there are rumors about heroin use, the Medical Examiner has not completed her examination, and, until the examiner does so, I strongly believe it would be inappropriate to reach any conclusion about the cause of Juliette’s death.

“What we do know is a wonderful young woman is no longer with us. We know what a terrible tragedy this is for her, her family and friends. Our hearts go out to them. To preserve loving memories of Juliette is what we all should strive to do.

“We also know for independent reasons that there is a national heroin epidemic. I am aware of a small, but increasing number of heroin-related deaths on college campuses.

“A recent University Health Service survey indicates a small number of our undergraduates have used heroin or other dangerous drugs. I am concerned about any level of drug abuse.

“Drug and alcohol abuse can destroy lives, not only of the victim but of those around her or him.


Resources for the University community

University Health Service
River Campus, Medical Center, and Eastman School
275-2662 ·
University Counseling Center
275-3113 ·
CARE Network ·
Employee Assistance Program

“I want to make a special plea to the students, faculty, staff, and others in our community with regard to heroin. Heroin has killed. In too many cases, heroin has been adulterated in unpredictable ways whose baneful effects the user cannot anticipate. Please get help.

“I also make my special plea to those with awareness of heroin or other dangerous drug use. These drugs are dangerous, and tragically sometimes are fatal. Please help your friends get help.

“Sometimes those who are aware of heroin users rationalize their inaction with phrases like he or she is just dabbling with heroin. Sometimes those who are aware of heroin users don’t want to be snitches. I encourage all to speak up and save lives. You can do this confidentially through the CARE network, University Health Service, University Counseling Center, or Employee Assistance Program.”

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