Everyone knows that USCD is full of bitter UCLA rejects. And boy, do we have every right to be bitter. UCLA has a better social scene, better athletics, and a better academic reputation. As of June 1st, UCLA beats UCSD in another, increasingly important aspect of college life: school shootings. Frankly, Tritons, we need to improve our murder-suicide game.
Although the Elliot Rodger shooting spree at UCSB still tops the UC Killing Spree podium, today’s shooting at UCLA certainly takes the silver medal. Meanwhile, UCSD languishes in a 7-way tie for the bronze, despite having a campus culture toxic enough to lead the nation in school shooting deaths.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way condoning violence. However, I think the UCSD community should consider how our campus culture influences the way we choose to kill ourselves. We Tritons would never go out in a hail of gunfire, or have the tenacity to take a professor down with us. Instead, we accidentally drink ourselves to death after a mediocre concert “festival.”
While the recent suicide-by-poison near campus earns points for creativity, it was not nearly public enough to move UCSD up in the campus suicide power rankings. In fact, that suicide is emblematic of the major issue confronting UCSD students. The campus culture of UCSD is extremely poisonous, yet students have no way to release the toxicity from their system. A UCSD student literally chose a torturously slow poisoning death over attending a school less than a mile from the beach. Worse yet, that student chose to die in isolation, instead of revealing her agony to the rest of the community. This is likely your first time hearing about the suicide.
On May 10th, 1970, UCSD senior George Winnie Jr. self-immolated in Revelle Plaza to protest the Vietnam War. Although Winnie botched the attempt (he didn’t die until several hours later), his message was powerful enough to earn him three separate memorials around campus. Since 1970, UCSD students have not only become suicidal but have also lost the willpower to publically identify the campus culture that drove them to it.
Perhaps if there were more creative outlets available to UCSD students, like buildings dedicated to graffiti or student-run satire papers, the campus climate would improve. Perhaps, that cultural shift would dissuade a few students from self-harm. However, the UCSD administration has systematically eliminated such creative outlets over the last 4 years.
So, if you’re at a point where you simply must commit suicide, I encourage you to go out with a “bang,” “splat,” “zip,” or whatever the fuck will shed some light on UCSD’s toxic campus culture. Don’t go quietly into that goodnight, but don’t take anybody down with you. Tape a picture of Kholsa’s face to your back before you jump. Send your suicide note to The Koala, we might publish it.
UCSD harbors enough self-hating, high functioning autists to capture the UC Killing Spree gold. Maybe one day our suicide rate will reflect how toxic our campus really is.