|Ryan P. Phillips, a fifth year Computer Science major. Photograph taken from Facebook.
Ryan P. Phillips, a fifth year Computer Science major, died late Saturday. The death occurred off-campus, Mary-Beth Cooper, senior vice president for Student Affairs, said.
“I am saddened to report the death of one of our students,” said Cooper, in an e-mail sent to the campus on Tuesday morning. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this sorrowful time.”
No details were immediately available about the death; Cooper said the decision to disclose the cause is at the discretion of Phillips' parents.
Phillips is at least the sixth RIT student to die since July.
A transfer student in his second year of classes at RIT, Phillips was a member of Computer Science House, a special interest house that occupies the third floor of Nathaniel Rochester Hall (NRH, 43).
In a brief telephone interview, Thomas Schellenberg, a fifth year Computer Science major and chairman of CSH, confirmed that Phillips had died but declined to say more.
Gabbie Burns, a third year Computer Science major and member on the CSH executive board, said Phillips was a “good guy.”
“I wasn’t a close friend of his, but we were neighbors,” Burns said. “[He was] all around friendly, someone you could go to.”
He lived on CSH’s floor, said Burns, but had gone home to New Jersey prior to his death.
On Monday night, House members got together and, in a CSH tradition, went to Mark’s Texas Hots, a restaurant that Phillips frequented. “It was nice. It was just a way to feel closer,” Burns said.
In the e-mail announcement, Cooper encouraged those feeling loss to contact RIT’s Counseling Center or the Center for Religious Life.
Cooper and Mark Allen Miles, director of Clinical Services at the Counseling Center, met with CSH Monday night to announce the death and to offer counseling to members.
A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at St. Padre Pio Parish in Vineland, N.J.
A whiteboard on the CSH floor listed the memorial service, which members plan to share houses and cars to attend. Around that, on the board, someone had drawn hearts.
Madeleine Villavicencio and Brendan Cahill contributed reporting.
Reporter will continue to monitor this story. Updates to follow as more information becomes available. Last updated Jan. 11 at 3:54 p.m.