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Suicide To Blame In Death of Freshman

Michael P. Manley '02.
By Zareena Hussain
and Wesley Chan
Staff Reporters

Michael P. Manley '02 died Saturday afternoon after falling from the 14th floor of MacGregor House in an apparent suicide.

Damien N. Burke '02, who lives in MacGregor H entry, said that he heard a scream at about 2:50 p.m. and called the Campus Police. The CPs arrived on the scene within about 2 minutes, Burke said.

Manley was trans-ported to Beth- Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m., according Senior Associate Dean Robert M. Randolph.

Manley, 17, a resident of MacGregor G-entry, was a student in the Experimental Study Group his first semester at the Institute. He had expressed interest to friends in majoring both in writing and in urban studies and planning. Manley also wrote for Counterpoint, a joint MIT-Wellesley student publication and had recently started working on a UROP in regional transportation planning. He was from Tempe, Arizona.

Manley a caring student

"Michael was a warm, funny and very bright young man who would have excelled at MIT. He was also a very talented writer and storyteller. He'd often reduce my freshman seminar group to uncontrolled laughter through tales of his day-to-day experiences here. We all enjoyed the pleasure of his company, and are very shocked and saddened by his death," said Patricia J. Culligan, associate professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who taught the freshman advisory seminar that Manley took last semester.

Manley was openly gay and had participated in activities sponsored by the Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered, and Friends at MIT his first week at MIT as well as a few times during the year, according to Terrance D. Harmon '99, general coordinator of GAMIT. According one of Manley's friends, residents of G-entry were accepting of his homosexuality.

"Michael was such a bright star. It is just unfortunate he didn't realize how much he had going for him," said Jonathan D. Kennell '02, who knew Manley through ESG.

"He was very caring, very sensitive in that it mattered to him what people thought,"said Christine L. Tsien G, G-entry floor tutor.

"I thought he had a really nice smile and that is what I'd like to remember,"Tsien said.

"Michael was funny and sensitive. He was very likable. He liked to laugh so much. He was so determined to succeed and he was so brilliant. He loved to write, and he was so good at it. He always wanted to help people and planned on joining the Peace Corps. He was a loving person and I will remember Michael for the rest of my life," said a friend of Manley who is a resident of G-entry.

Counseling made available

Saturday afternoon and evening, two psychiatrists were available to counsel students in MacGregor. Students also met Sunday afternoon to discuss Manley's death. ESGstudents met yesterday afternoon with staff and counselors as well.

Late Saturday night, however, G-entry residents say they had trouble finding counseling and information about what happened in the dorm.

"I have been approached by people who were totally lost as to who to talk to about this incident," said another G-entry resident.

Manley's death is the fourth suicide by a MacGregor resident in the last eleven years. In response to the incident, housemasters, students and administrators met on Sunday to discuss safety issues associated with access to windows in the upper floors of MacGregor, according to Randolph.

John S. Wilson, associate housemaster of MacGregor said, "We had some limitations on the windows in place before and this was a meeting about improving the system."

Memorial Services to be held

Memorial services for Manley will be held tomorrow morning in Tempe, Arizona for close friends and family.

An additional service will also be held Thursday at the MITChapel at 5:00 p.m., according to Randolph.

Josh Bittker contributed to the reporting of this story