The view of the Village at Centennial Square from an elevated level at SF State on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. (David Jones / Golden Gate Xpress) (David Jones)
The view of the Village at Centennial Square from an elevated level at SF State on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. (David Jones / Golden Gate Xpress)

David Jones

SF State student found dead in residential housing

The student was found unresponsive one week before the start of the semester following a call from a concerned parent.

February 1, 2023

A student was found unresponsive at Village at Centennial Square on the early morning of Jan. 23. 

In an email sent to campus housing residents last Wednesday, Director of Residential Life David Rourke said a parent informed the campus about concerns for the student. The call was followed by a wellness check conducted by the SF State University Police Department.

“This is an incredibly difficult incident especially at the start of a new semester with expectations so high,” Rourke said in the email. “It is also a reminder that while not all pain is obvious, we are not alone in having to manage challenges and difficulties.”

Recent studies show a decline in mental health nationally across college students.

The Healthy Minds Study, conducted from 2013-2021, surveyed approximately 350,000 students across 373 campuses. 

The study concluded that about 60% of college students had at least one mental health disorder, almost a 50% increase from 2013. 

According to Statista data, the leading mental disorders among college students in 2021 were anxiety and depression disorders.

The COVID-19 pandemic also negatively affected college students’ well-being.

The Penn State Student Affairs conducted a study across 140 colleges with 43,098 participants, measuring the pandemic’s negative effects among students. Mental health, lack of motivation or focus and feeling lonely and isolated were the top three factors greatly impacted by the pandemic.

“Our hearts go out to the student’s family and those team members supporting our community through this sad incident.” Rourke said.  “Please take care of yourself and let us know how Residential Life and the University may support you as we continue to walk through these first weeks of the semester together.” 


SF State’s Counseling & Psychological Services provides counseling services and other services to the campus community. To contact the office, call 415-338-2208 or email them at [email protected]

For students living in residential housing, the residential assistants are also available for additional support.

For information about the university’s procedure following a student’s death, visit the Dean of Student’s website.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, provides free, 24/7 support for those in need of emotional support. To contact, call 988. 

The California Peer Run Warmline also provides free, 24/7 support for those seeking noncrisis emotional support. To contact, call 855-845-7415.

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About the Contributors
Photo of Jenna Mandarano
Jenna Mandarano, Campus Editor
Jenna Mandarano (she/her) is this semester's campus editor for Golden Gate Xpress, where she previously was a staff reporter. She is a fourth-year journalism major and business administration minor who anticipates graduating this coming May. The Bay Area is where she was born and raised, and she has no plans on leaving anytime soon. Aside from being a journalist, she loves going to concerts, watching professional sports and expanding her constantly growing Lego collection that she is also struggling to find space for.
Photo of David Jones
David Jones, Staff Photographer
David Jones (he/they) is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in photojournalism and minoring in sociology. He was born in Oakland, California and raised in Hayward, California. His passions are concerts/editorial photography, poetry and searching for new ways of creative expression. During his free time, he enjoys reading, writing poetry, self-reflection and listening to music.

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