Dunster Murder-Suicide Remembered

Some House Residents Apprehensive; Dean Sends Letter About Facts, Advising

Harvard is still feeling repercussions from May's murder-suicide in Dunster House.

On May 28, Sinedu Tadesse '96 stabbed her roommate Trang Phuong Ho '96 to death and then hanged herself in her Dunster House bathroom. The tragedy has prompted the organization of several campus meetings and a reexamination of the advising system.

Though a house tutor--not undergraduates--now lives in the Dunster House H-21 double suite that was the scene of the murder-suicide, students interviewed last week at the house said they are still bothered by the incident.

One senior who lived in G-Entry, just next to Tadesse and Ho's H-Entry, heard screams coming from their room the morning of the murder. She said she was apprehensive about coming back this year.

"I wasn't feeling comfortable coming back here this year, and neither was my roommate," said the senior, who asked that her name not be printed. "It's not like we think it's going to happen again. You just don't want to go back into a house where this happened."


She added that she hopes the tragedy will convince tutors to play a more active role in the life of the house.

"The tutors do tend to be in their own little worlds," she said. "They need to reach out too. I just hope they're a little more aware of student life."

But another student said the incident has no direct relation to the house itself.

"This is a great house to begin with, and the staff is a wonder," said Elizabeth A. Papp '97. "It's just a tragedy that this incident happened. I don't feel that you can blame it on the house."

And Robin S. Goldstein '96 said her affiliation with Dunster House has "affected other people's reactions to me more than my own."

Dunster students will be able to attend two meetings, Wednesday, Sept. 27 and Monday, Oct. 2 from 7-8:30, to discuss their feelings about the incident.

These will not be informational gatherings, but rather chances for students to talk about the murder-suicide, said Dunster Senior Tutor Suzi Naiburg. Representatives from the Bureau of Study Counsel and Life Raft will coordinate the sessions.

On Saturday, September 23, there will be a service of prayer and remembrance in Memorial Church at 11 a.m. It will be open to all members of the Harvard community.

Letter from Lewis

To set the record straight officially, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 sent a letter to parents at the end of August telling them exactly what happened on May 28 and reminding them of Harvard's advising services.