November 1st, 2009 | News, University

BRANFORD SOPHOMORE DIES; CAUSE UNKNOWN

Andre Narcisse '12 was found dead Sunday morning in his suite.
Andre Narcisse '12 was found dead Sunday morning in his suite. Photo by Facebook.

Andre Narcisse ’12 of Roosevelt, N.Y., was found dead Sunday. The cause of his death is still unknown, but police do not suspect foul play.

Narcisse’s suitemates found him unresponsive in his Branford College suite Sunday morning. Paramedics arrived and attempted to resuscitate him, but they were unable to do so, Yale College Dean Mary Miller said in a campuswide e-mail Sunday afternoon.

In a phone interview, Miller said it would be premature to speculate on the cause of Narcisse’s death, but added that she has been communicating over the past week with masters and deans to share concerns about alcohol and drug use on campus. After last week’s Safety Dance, at least eight students needed medical attention.

Police were on the scene in Branford by 11 a.m., and a police photographer was seen leaving the suite at about 1 p.m. Narcisse’s body is being transported to the medical examiner’s office in Farmington, Conn., for an autopsy.

  • Yale Mom

    My condolences to the family. I am reminded yet again that our lives are built on pillars of glass. So tragic.

  • Yale Mom

    My heartfelt condolences to the family of this young man. A tragic loss.

  • 2011

    how is it ok to say its premature to speculate on the cause of death, and then bring up drugs and alcohol?

  • y12

    “In a phone interview, Miller said it would be premature to speculate on the cause of Narcisse’s death, but added that she has been communicating over the past week with masters and deans to share concerns about alcohol and drug use on campus.”

    If it is premature to speculate, don’t, Dean Miller.

  • Stanford Student

    My profound condolences to the family and friends of this young man. May we all be reminded to live everyday compassionately, keenly, and humbly.

  • @y12

    Miller wasn’t speculating. Read the quotation again. If she’s noting on contact /over the past week/ about larger concerns with drugs and alcohol, it would have been impossible to speculate about a death on Saturday. If anything, the Daily’s to blame for misleading writing… but that’s not an uncommon occurrence.

  • y10

    what a tragedy. my heart goes out to his family and friends, and also to his suitemates. i cant imagine what they must be going through.

    i also agree the the above comments about Dean Miller’s ‘speculation’. I found it in bad taste and completely suggestive.

  • Concerned Yale Mother

    Perhaps it is too early to speculate on Andre’s devastating death. This is a tragedy, no matter the cause. However, Yale does need to buckle down on alcohol consumption, this is a fact. I know of other kids who have been in hospital for poinsonous limits of alcohol, and the school takes a very casual tone, and in fact does not discourage alcohol usage enough. Smart kids are still kids; not able to see the limits of mortality.My heartfelt prayers and condolences to out to all who knew Andre. May the love of Jesus be with them now, that is the only solace in this unfair world.

  • david Yale ’87

    My condolences to the family and friends of this young man. I feel awful for his suitemates who found him. I can’t imagine how they must feel.
    I’ll echo the comments about Dean Miller’s quote. Let’s not speculate and it’s not even helpful right now, even if it is drugs and/or alcohol, initially everyone just needs a chance to mourn this loss.

  • Ephraim

    Eurge,

    I’ll miss you buddy

  • y 10

    I agree than Dean Miller’s quote is out of line. It is at the very least poorly worded.

  • Dazed and confused

    Miller wasn’t speculating. Read the quotation again. If she’s noting on contact /over the past week/ about larger concerns with drugs and alcohol, it would have been impossible to speculate about a death on Saturday. If anything, the Daily’s to blame for misleading writing… but that’s not an uncommon occurrence.

    No, *you* read the quote again. In connection with an unexplained death, she starts talking about drugs and alcohol. This is grossly inappropriate. And this from the Dean who is always lecturing us about procedures and privacy. She is a disaster.

  • tragedy

    Whether Dean Miller’s words were out of line or the YDN simply did a poor job condensing a longer phone interview is irrelevant.

    This is a tragedy. Rest in peace, Andre.

  • booze

    Give her a break. A guy dies in his room after Halloween night – who *wouldn’t* immediately think alcohol poisoning?

  • fccg

    @8: On the contrary, Yale and the State of Connecticut are far too harsh on alcohol consumption, leaving adults between the ages of 18 and 21 few safe environments in which to learn to drink responsibly. Back in the day, students would attend a weekly cocktail party in their college, thrown by the Masters and Fellows. Nowadays, they carry flasks of grain alcohol to movie theatres. Which is more likely to result in alcohol poisoning?

  • @Dazed and confused and y12

    There is no quotation from Dean Miller so we have no idea what she really said. It could have gone like this for all we know:
    YDN: “Do you know the cause of death?”
    Dean Miller: “No, and it would be premature to speculate.”
    YDN: “Do you think drugs or alcohol could have been involved?”
    Dean Miller: “Again, it would be premature to speculate. We have, however, been sharing our concerns with Masters and Deans about drug and alcohol use on our campus.”

    A perfectly fine response that just followed the questions.

    It is of course possible she said: “It is too early to speculate but we have been communicating with Masters and Deans about drug and alcohol use recently.”

    Either way no reason for us to lay blame on either Dean Miller or the YDN until we know more. Instead we should be remembering and celebrating Andre and his life while providing support for his friends and family.

  • Yale Mom

    A sad day for his family and his roommates and all of Yale. Whatever the cause, a young man has lost his life, let us not judge.

  • Alum

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of this young man on this tragic loss.

  • Jana and Neil Purdy

    Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all who loved him. Eurge was a wonderful person and a special friend. He will be missed.

  • BD 2010

    May you rest in peace.

  • Anonymous

    Rest in Peace. Eurgerie was a great kid!

  • yalie

    This death is such a sad, sad tragedy. My deepest condolences to Andre’s family and friends.

  • Y10

    #16 has passed Newspaper Reading 101: parsing what was actually said or done from a vaguely worded summary.

    This is very, very sad. As “booze” said, I think we all naturally and inwardly speculate without meaning to, but I think we can all agree that matter how he died, it was too soon.

    A power is gone, which nothing can restore–
    A deep distress hath humanized my soul.

  • YLS 12

    Condolences to friends and family.

  • PEA 08

    Exeter love. We’ll miss you

  • Anonymous

    rest in peace, eurge. you’ll surely be missed.

  • Anonymous

    It was an honor to once meet and work with Eugerie, one of the nicest people I knew. Deepest condolences to his family.

  • Outraged Alum

    I can’t believe Miller would bring up drugs and alcohol like that. Well sadly I can.

  • A Townie

    My heartfelt condolences to Andre’s family and those who knew him. Please know that all of New Haven share your loss.

  • James T. Madison

    Several of the commenters above have asked (with some indignation) how is it ok to say its premature to speculate on the cause of death, and then bring up drugs and alcohol. If Dean Miller is likely NOT specultating because she has access to information such as college reports that Mr. Narcisse had drug or alcohol difficulties or an initial report from the medical team that has examined the deceased. In writing that I want to stress that I have absolutely no inside knowledge.

    Dean Miller obviously would not want people with no information to spread unfounded rumors. But she is likely NOT one of those people. Instead, it is likely that SHE has been given summaries of whatever information the college has regarding any signs of drug or alcohol abuse by Mr. Narcisse (if any) and/or the preliminary medical determination as to the cause of his death. It would be appropriate for faculty and college administrators to make note of any such behavior (if any existed) and also normal for the responding medical team to make an initial determination if the likely cause of death was apparent but not conclusive. The Dean should have been promptly apprised of all of such information.

    If Mr. Narcisse had a history of such difficulties, or the preliminary determination of the cause of death is drugs + alcohol, then the Dean is NOT “speculating.” The same would be true of people who rely on her comment. Comments based on partial or non-final information is simply not “speculation.”

    Taking this scenario one step further, Dean Miller does not want to leave herself and the University open to any charge that they “concealed” inconvenient information any more than she wants to encourage “speculation.” Her response appears to be an entirely responsible way of balancing the competing imperatives.

    Public companies often face a similar quandry when unfounded rumors surface about them. When that happens, such companies often release a statement disapproving of all speculation and providing some partial, preliminary guidance to reorient the market. It’s considred the responsible thing to do.

  • a mom

    So sad. My deepest condolences to Andre’s family. A death of a child is the one thing a parent fears the most, no matter how it happens. If it was drugs or alcohol I hope it is a wake up call to the other students.

  • D

    He was like a brother to me. I miss him and my sympathies goes out to his family.

    I would appreciate it if you guys stop making this into a debate. Thanks.

  • Parent

    The young man’s death is a tragedy, however caused. I cannot imagine the grief his family must feel. I certainly hope that it had nothing to do with alcohol.

    Nonetheless, let me echo #8. Yale condones binge drinking. Kids drink to blackout regularly. It is common for kids to get checked into hospital for alcohol poisoning. Branford’s “liquor treat” and “god quad” demonstrate the university’s policy more than the Dean’s comment that … they’re gonna get around to it, sometime…

    Again, I hope that it was not alcohol in this instance, but even if not, take this sad occasion as a call to deal with this pervasive problem on campus — to provide “not-lame” non-alcohol activities, and provide counseling for at-risk kids.

    I am entrusting my child to Yale, with all his/her talents, bright promise and future, and I don’t want to be the one getting the call next time.

  • Marissa

    Regardless of the cause, Eurge was a really great guy. We’ll all miss him. And my deepest condolences to the Narcisse’s. You guys are a strong family and I wish you the best.

  • Parent

    No matter what happened, this is a tragic loss for Yale in general and the young man’s family and friends in particular. My deepest sympathies to all.

  • anonymous

    My deepest sympathies to the family and community surrounding Andre.

    Scary to think we are not invincible.

  • Exeter

    Our condolences here at Exeter go out to Eurgerie and his family.

    We miss you.

  • James T. Madison

    To: #33 (Parent)

    I’m a parent, too, but is not correct that “Yale condones binge drinking” and in my opinion it is downright irresponsible to say such things. What is true is that Yale, like all but the most religious schools in the country, long ago abandoned its “in loco parentis” role. That abandonment is very well known. Sending a young man or woman to Yale reflects a parental decision to entrust their offspring to his or her OWN sense and judgment, not Yale’s. It’s no excuse for parents to claim that they are “entrusting” their “child to Yale,” because they know full well that Yale treats its students as adults, not children (entrusted or otherwise).

    Yale students sometimes binge drinking is no more evidence of Yale’s “condoning” such behavior than Yale students having unprotected sex is evidence that Yale “condones” the spread of AIDS. It makes as much sense to assert that binge drinking by a Yale student is evidence that the student’s own parents “condone” such behavior. Those parents could remove their child from Yale and ought to know their child’s weaknesses far better than the University does.

    Yale treats its undergraduates as if they were responsible, but they sometimes aren’t. There’s a cost to that. But the alternative of treating students as if they were “entrusted children” was long ago found to be unworkable. Any parents who disagree with this approach should avoid schools like Yale and consider excellent alternative such as Saint Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, which is fully committed to its in loco parentis role. There are many others.

  • Not a Yale Student

    Thanks, Dean Mary Miller. Now NY News stations are attaching the drug and alcohol comment to their reporting. It’s just disgraceful.

    My condolences to the friends and family of Andre Narcisse. May his soul rest in peace.

  • yale parent

    There is no doubt that this is a tragic, TRAGIC, death. No one is to blame, no matter how Andre died. But, one thing I know is certain, Yale needs to make policies on drinking, and discourage it. They need to make sure kids are aware that their brains, God given precious gifts!, are ruined by alcohol intake, no matter whether they are binge drinking or partying on a regular basis. Yale does not do this, and they expect kids to drink. The smartest kids will stay away from drinking, they will succeed beyond the others, Yale student or not. May the Narcisse family know that God is with them, holding them in his loving arms. May Yale students WAKE UP and get SMART!!

  • @James Madison

    Well said.

    Parents let go of their “kids” when they go to college, but that does not mean that the college assumes the role of parent. As college students, they have assumed the freedoms and responsibilities that come with adulthood. They are responsible for themselves.

  • Kelly Flynn

    We love you, Eurge. I am so sad but I know God is holding you tight. –I would also like to give a shout out and a big hug to Ephraim and Vikas.

  • A mom

    I have personally communicated in the past with the master of one of the other colleges about this problem (consumption of alcohol by minors) and he has assured me that Yale does indeed discourage this type of irresponsible behavior on the part of its students.
    However, all the talk in the world will not prevent some young people from engaging in risky behavior. Like it or not, the responsibility for the welfare of our children lies with us as parents as long as they are minors. We must face the sad reality that even the most intelligent kids act in irresponsible and reckless ways at times. It is our job as parents to know what is going on in the lives of our kids and intervene when necessary. This can be exhausting and agonizing work, but the alternative is even more difficult to deal with. I say these things from my own experience with our four children. My words are not intended as an indictment of other parents. Personally, I pray to God every day that I never receive the kind of news that Andre’s parents did recently. Regardless of the cause of this young man’s death, my heart goes out to his entire family.

  • 1Collegestudent

    I do not attend yale, I go to Brandeis and belong to a fraternity, but my sister does attend, and I just wanted to throw out a student’s perspective on this tragic incident rather than all you parents with uneducated speculations.

    College partying is here, and it’s not going to stop. Despite the fact that it is illegal, I can tell you that it plays a prominent role in nearly every college/university in the country, whether it’s sneaking handles of vodka into a dorm room without the CA seeing or going to a frat party, students are going to find a way to drink far more than they should. How do you fix this? Making the rules stricter isn’t going to help, in my opinion, and honestly I don’t know how much stricter they can get while still having the punishment fit the crime. I think the only logical way to avoid needless deaths like these is to lower the drinking age. If students have legal access to alcohol I don’t think as many would abuse it, and they would quickly become responsible drinkers, drinking to get hammered would lose its novelty pretty quickly if students were able to have a beer while watching football or a nice bottle of wine while eating with suitemates on a friday night. There would still be some big parties, but the number of them would decrease and people would learn how to drink responsibly before coming to these parties.

  • Sofia

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Eurge, his family, and the boys in Wentworth. I love you Eurge.

  • An Exeter Mom

    My daughter was Eurgerie’s friend. She is so sad about his death. And I am so sad for her and for all of you–and especially for his family. . . We all mourn the world’s loss, our era’s loss, our immediate loss. I am reminded how far-reaching our relationships are that I am now so deeply touched by this person through all the people that I know that loved him, and yet I never had the privilege to meet. Peace.

  • PC ’10

    Could all of you helicopter parents just stop? I’m always floored at how these tragedies quickly become an opportunity for moralizing. “It’s a tragedy and we shouldn’t speculate, but… ALCOHOL SHOULD BE OUTLAWED, ZOMG YALE ISN’T RESTRICTING MY CHILDREN ENOUGH… WHY CAN’T WE KEEP THEM IN HELMETS AND BUBBLE WRAP IN A PADDED ROOM?!?!” Some of you are clearly hijacking this tragedy to push your extremist opinions about alcohol, and the rest are using this as an opportunity to refuse to let your children grow up and be adults.

    Pick one side of the fence: either let us grieve and don’t speculate, or make your neo-Temperance agenda explicit and stop hiding behind a tragic death.

  • Get off my lawn 9Y6

    As someone who went to Yale in the previous decade, I’m wondering when it was that students started to refer to themselves as “kids” (and women, as “girls”). No one over the age of 18 is a child, and my cohort referred to other students and themselves as “men” and “women,” as did previous generations of Elis. (“Kids of Yale” doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?)

    The fact is, as mentioned by some of the posters above, students are NOT in fact, children; the job of the university is not to babysit. This is a tragic loss, and the university can look at ways to encourage more responsible drinking (and to address students developing problem habits), but it’s absolutely not the role of the university to tightly police student drinking. They’ll do it on campus….or they’ll have to move it off campus, with outcomes that could be much, much worse.

  • A mom

    To #44: Research has revealed (rather unsurprisingly, I might add) that allowing minors to consume alcohol does nothing to teach responsible consumption. The Amethyst Initiative has advocated for lowering the drinking age but progress has been slow at best, for some of the same reasons that certain drugs are still illegal. Alcohol is, after all, a drug. Our questions need to be centered around why the state of sobriety is apparently so undesirable and not so much on what the legal drinking age should be.

  • Alum

    Rest in peace.

  • By an Exeter Mom

    My deepest condolences to Eurge’s family and friends. Words can not adequately express how sorry I am for your loss. My son wrestled with Eurge. I remember cheering him on at his matches…always had a smile and a handshake with a nice greeting after each meet! He has left us with many fond memories that will be treasured. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very difficult time~

  • AP Biology Teacher

    Eurgerie was a student in my AP Biology class and I will always remember him as a great young man. He will be missed by his Uniondale school family. My thoughts go out to his family.

  • alex n.

    eurge was the life of the party at tasp so sad to see him go