Missing Cornell student found dead in dorm room


ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Cornell’s Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi shared with students the passing of classmate Shawn West who had been reported missing by a parent.

The email Lombardi shared with students read:

Dear Cornellians,

I write to share the news of a tremendous loss within our community. Yesterday afternoon, Cornell Police, Bang’s Ambulance and the Ithaca Police responded to a North Campus residence hall where Shawn West ’24 was discovered deceased within a residence hall room. Shawn was reported missing on Wednesday afternoon. At the request of his family, no further details will be provided. We are releasing this information today in a delayed manner also in accordance with their request.

Shawn was a first-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences from New York City. He was a promising young computer coder, who enjoyed developing video games, refurbishing vintage game consoles and was interested in the human impacts of technology and the relationships between users and devices. A resident of Ujamaa, he was involved in several clubs and activities on campus, including the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making, the Skateboarding Club and Zen Meditation at Cornell. He also enjoyed photography and composing poetry on an old Royal typewriter.

On behalf of the Cornell community, I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to Shawn’s parents and family, including his sister who is a Cornell alumna, as well as his friends and peers. Please keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time.

I encourage anyone who may be in need of assistance to seek support. In addition to the list of resources at the bottom of this message, there will be community support meetings today and tomorrow. Details on how to participate can be found below. Please take care of yourselves and each other.


Ryan Lombardi, Vice President for Student and Campus Life

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