UC Berkeley student dies after fall from dorm window in apparent suicide

A group gathers near a handful of flowers and candles in the courtyard of Unit 2 after police left the scene.
Taryn Erhardt/Senior Staff
A group gathers near a handful of flowers and candles in the courtyard of Unit 2 after police left the scene.

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UCPD confirmed Wednesday morning that the UC Berkeley student who fell from a window in Unit 2 Tuesday night was pronounced dead at the scene, in an incident the department is investigating as suicide.

At around 9:48 p.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to the Unit 2 residence hall after receiving reports that a student — who has been identified as sophomore Henry Treadway — fell from a window of Towle Hall, according to UCPD Lt. Eric Tejada.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau identified the student as Henry Treadway, 20, on Wednesday afternoon. According to the county coroner’s bureau, Treadway died of multiple blunt force injuries at 9:56 p.m.

Paramedics and police responded to the scene, at which UCPD officers roped off the area in front of the residence hall with caution tape while distraught residents gathered in the courtyard.

“Our initial investigation is that it was a suicide,” Tejada said.

There are no press conferences currently planned by UCPD or the Residential and Student Service Programs on campus, according to Tejada.

Reports first began circulating that Treadway was the victim after a status reading “RIP HENRY TREADWAY 11/18/91 — 5/8/12,” supposedly posted by him before the incident, surfaced on his Facebook page Tuesday night.

Treadway was a 2010 graduate of El Cerrito High School.

Within hours of the incident, students had created a memorial event page  for Treadway on Facebook. Friends, family and even apparent strangers continued to offer condolences on the Facebook event’s wall and via Twitter throughout the day Wednesday.

As of 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Unit 2 courtyard was nearly empty but for candles and flowers that students had left as a makeshift memorial in front of Towle Hall.

Mihir Deo, a sophomore and incoming Student Action senator, took a statistics class with Treadway this semester and said they always joked together and talked about sports.

“I actually saw him two days ago; it wasn’t for too long but kind of in passing — we both had a stats final on Monday,” Deo said. “We studied a couple times, and I got to know him.”

Deo was also present in the Unit 2 courtyard Tuesday night when it was suspected that someone had jumped off Towle Hall.

“I came of my own accord to (Towle Hall), because I have a fair amount of friends in that hall,” he said. “I had this weird feeling it was (Treadway). I don’t know what led to this, but it kind of clicked. It’s hard to process.”

A candlelight vigil in Treadway’s memory has been scheduled for 10 p.m. at Sproul Plaza this Friday. The event currently has more than 3,000 people attending on Facebook.

Assistant news editor Anjuli Sastry contributed to this report.

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  • Miramontelia

    Henry clearly was well loved–you can see it in his smile in pictures and by the outpouring of grief. I hope that someday peace will soften the pain in the hearts of those that loved him.

  • Poop throwing apes

    I love how it was called “Unit 2” and people just blow past that, totally desensitized.

    The only other people I know of who live in “Units” are wearing orange jumpsuits and getting three hot and a cot. But to the extent we are all slaves of the system, their lives are only different by degree, not type. Maybe that is the true meaning or lesson of living in a “Unit”.

    I think if I lived in a state “Unit” like “Unit 2” no matter how nice it was I would still experience certain forms of institutional violence all of the time, from being crowded and not having adequate personal space, to being treated like a number, to how I received meals, to being constantly tracked and surveilled and subject to arbitrary bs rules, to my daily routine (“fitter, happier, more productive”) and why I was there at all (“THE PRODUCT IS YOU”).

    Even after I was released (“graduated”) from the state “Unit 2,” I might realize that state “Unit 2” was only a controlled microcosm of the much larger state “Unit” from which there is no escape.

    Yeah, that might have something to do with it.

    • Guest

       What the hell are you talking about?

    • Janessa

      I think you’re completely blowing it out of proportion. I lived in Unit 1 this year, and in no way, shape, or form did I or anyone else EVER equate or see any similarities between that and jail. It’s a dorm, and of course space is tight. But I was never treated like a number, I was free to come and go as I pleased, I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. This is not a jail. I think you need to revise your definition of a “Unit”. 

    • James

      Stop drinking antifreeze

  • Guest

    I have had thoughts of suicide myself. It’s not necessarily due to just one thing. I have had things piling up on me. I am only a junior, and like a lot of people say I am young, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be suffering as much as an older person with more life experience can. I have a mind and a life that is unique from those of others. And that’s the thing, we can never completely know what goes on in a person’s mind, it’s amazing in my opinion, that each individual has their own little world despite all efforts made to make individuals share everything they think. That is why these things are sometimes inevitable. How can anyone ever claim to fully understand a person, it isn’t possible. 
    But at the same time there is so much we can do if we try to understand another person’s perspective, not by claiming we know exactly what they’re thinking, but trying to at least comprehend. This does a deal of good because we pay attention to the person and give them our full attention. And please people always do to others what you would like others to do to you, and never ignore someone, give them your full attention whenever possible!

    • Staff

      I would encourage you, and any other student who might be affected by this or who might be having suicidal thoughts at anytime or who is just feeling overwhelmed and stressed, to talk with a counselor at Counseling & Psychological Services at the Tang Center. They have drop in counseling which is free for students. It can help to have someone to talk to in order to discuss what’s going on.

      • aMom

        Thanks for posting this. I sent this info to my son who was in Cunningham at the time, studying for finals and wrapping up final projects. After a year of hard work (not to mention the stresses of just getting into Cal), he estimated he got about 5 hours of sleep from Sunday until after his last final on Wednesday. That kind of pressure could make a lot of otherwise sensible people feel totally overwhelmed and act on a sudden impulse. I wish Henry had paused just long enough to reach out for help.

      • Guest

        I’m the original poster. Don’t worry, I talked to my mom, and I took care of myself. I didn’t go talk to a counselor because I have enough support from my family. Things are getting better. But, I do think that the problem with suicide is not going to be solved by going to a psychologist, people need support in everyday life.

    • Temperance

      Call suicide prevention crisis line, if you ever need to talk.  You don’t have to be about to do yourself in, to call and talk to a trained, kind anonymous person.

  • Gilbert

    wow how hard is UC Berkeley?

  • guest

    How does he go about having a weird feeling it might be him? Were there signs during finals that he was cracking? Someone pls explain to me…he seems like such a popular/ well adjusted kid….

    • Yes all education is hard, but at Cal it is the competitiveness that is evil. 

      • janessa

        I go to Cal. Yeah, it’s competitive, but that doesn’t mean that’s why he committed suicide. Bottom line only Henry knows why he did it. Stop assuming.

  • RIP

    • UCB Mom

      I saw the memorial when I came to get my kid from dorms. Seeing how my own child struggled academically and sometimes personally at Berkeley, I feel sometimes the intensity of education at Berkeley and the responsibility these young people feel to proove to their families and friends that they are a worthy of education there overwhelms them, and maybe makes them feel they are not meeting the expectations. I can’t imagine the pain his parents had to indure. I just wish someone would be there and stop him. I only wish, the proffessors would remind the students BEFORE the finals that their grades, finals, or whatever problems they have at college are not worth taking your own life. I believe, UC Berkley is responsible for this tragedy. And my deepest condolences to the family and to the humanity  for the bright life lost before it even truly started. RIP Henry. I never knew you, but I will keep a memory of you in my heart.

      • kare_bear

        you sound like a great mom


    by: Christina Rossetti


    Remember me when I am gone away,

    Gone far away into the silent

    When you can no more hold me
    by the hand,

    Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

    Remember me when no more day by day

    You tell me of our future that
    you planned:

    Only remember me; you

    It will be late to counsel then or pray.

    Yet if you should forget me for a while

    And afterwards remember, do
    not grieve:

    For if the darkness and
    corruption leave

         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

    Better by far you should forget and smile

         Than that you should remember and be sad.

  • Jenigrinceri

    I hope your soul finds the peace it was looking for, Henry.

  • Honest Reply

     I’m sorry but FUCK KENNY! His choice will hurt so many people. His
    selfish choice along with his bullshit FB post will cause his friends to
    blame themselves and could rip his family to pieces. He is a
    self-absorbed asshole. I’m sorry if this offends people, but I have had
    family members commit suicide and  it is the single most selfish decisions a person could make. It destroys the lives of those closest to you. No, rot in hell Kenny.

    • Guest

      Your post is also hurting people who love him. If you didn’t know him, please shut up and don’t insult him.

      • Guest

         No, Henry hurt the people who loved him. Honest Reply has a point. This outpouring of love only romanticizes suicide even more.

    • Sorry bro

      It’s incredibly more selfish to demand that someone keep suffering for your sake.

      Maybe if you were more important to your family members they wouldn’t be suicides.

      • Temperance

        Bro that is a sorry answer

    • Guest111

      Suicide is for cowards.

      • Janessa

        Suicide is for people who feel they have not other solution. Often, there’s a mental imbalance/irregularity/psychological problems (though not always). I’m no expert on suicide, but I know chalking it up to cowardice is not only incorrect, but also rude. People considering suicide often need help from other people (in the form of support, therapy, encouragement, friendship, love, etc- depends on the case), not to be called cowards by people who don’t know anything about their situation or underlying condition.

    • Guest

       Who the hell is Kenny?

    • Kristen

      In pronouncing such a strong opinion, you at least owe it to yourself to verify the name. Oh, and try Googling “depression.”

    • physics-and-baccarat

       Frankly sir, you seem to be taking out your rage at being unable to help your family members on someone else who had nothing to do with you. Both you and I have no clue what this young man’s situation was, or what exactly went through his mind.

      In general, everyone seems to enjoy projecting their meager views in the wake of this tragedy. It’s self-absorbed and ignorant of the people who are really in pain right now.

      All I know is that this young man decided to jump one night, and all I can do is express sympathy and offer a shoulder to cry on for the people suffering.

  • Anon

    I feel so sorry for Kenny’s family, my thoughts and sympathy go out to them. The feelings experienced when a family member or close friend commits suicide are among the worst possible. I have had two family members commit suicide, and I know too well how it effects those closest to them.

    Please, if you are a family member or friend of Kenny don’t be afriad to share your feelings with loved ones or seek professional counseling. I know its all too easy to blame yourself, but remember it was not your fault.

    To anybody thinking about committing suicide, DO NOT DO IT! There are always alternatives and suicide is the worst possible answer. I can’t help but be dismayed at the outpouring of sympathy to Kenny, that love should be going to his family and friends because they are the ones who need it most. Suicide is the single most selfish choice a person can make, it ruins relationships and destroys families. Please, please, please don’t even consider it as an option, ever.

  • Harzan

    Henry was my only nephew, my children’s only cousin and his parent’s only child.  Fly my sweet angel, and know that you were deeply loved and painfully missed.

    • aMom

      I did not know him, but this kind of loss hits home for any of us who can imagine losing a child in this way. My son was in the adjacent dorm tower at the time of this tragedy, and his fears and past suicidal thoughts make your loss just a little bit too real for me. 
      I have lost sleep over  your family’s pain, and the pain that Henry must have felt to do this awful thing. You and all of your family are in my thoughts.

  • guest

    dozens? try THOUSANDS

    • Guest

      Relax, this  is an out-of-date article, and I’m sure Adelyn Baxter or her editor will be happy to update it.

  • Rest in Peace, Henry

    Facebook memorial comments show how Henry has touched many people, some in small but not insignificant ways:

    Mandy Phillips: “Henry
    you were definitely my favorite sandwich customer at Foothill. You
    were always so friendly. And hungry :) You will be missed by so many,
    my heart goes out to you and yours.”

    Michele Urnberg-Jawad: “In
    Henry’s name we all, each of us, need to follow the above
    statement…and look to the very serious problem. This is the second for
    a young man that I know of this week..Henry, I will always remember
    your wonderful smile’s and shy hello’s..say “hi” to Jamal for me….”

    Kevin Tomiyoshi Yang: “I
    will never forget Henry’s music he made in the Beat Club afterschool in
    El Cerrito High. He was the only person that was willing to make beats
    with me. Unfortunately, he graduated, and I didn’t see him after that. I
    agree that it isn’t his problem that this happened; it’s the community
    around him that caused it. I can relate

    because I felt the feeling that
    he had before. It isn’t so pleasant. Please be more aware of your
    actions, people.”

    Nosliw Leahcim-Cire: “Sorry,
    but can we all take a moment to reminisce on this guy’s SMILE, please?!
    This dude lit up my day every time I saw him. Every time we passed by
    each other it was always a handshake, a hug, and a huge smile and laugh
    that would help my day to be that much better.Way too soon Henry. I love you bro. Stay blessed.”

    Alyson Durrant: “You
    were definitely my favorite customer at foothill. Always really
    friendly, and with a wonderful and contagious smile that made my day!
    Though I didn’t really know you, you definitely made a positive
    impression on my life. I hope that you have found peace and that your
    friends and family will do so in due time, as well. Sending love your
    way tonight ♥”

    Alisha Manandhar: “One
    of the nicest guys i’ve ever met. A kind hearted man who always helped
    you out. Easy to talk to and never boring. To some, he was known as
    ‘earthy hank’ due to his mastered skills in the art of rock skipping.
    Truly a sweetheart and hard to replace. Rest in peace, Henry. You will
    be very truly missed by your Cal, El Cerrito, and Ravencliff family.”

    Jessica Garcia Ibarra: “One
    thing that I am always going to remember about you are those black
    sunglasses you would wear all the time! It did not matter if you were
    indoors, if it was night time, if you could barely see out of them cos
    you were in a badly lit room, or if I told you to take them off cos you
    looked ridiculous, you always kept those sunglasses on. Rest in power Henry. ♥”

    Haidee Pan: “I’m
    not even a student at UCB yet, but I’m very sorry to hear about this
    and cried reading the news. You seem like a great guy from what other
    people say and I regret losing the opportunity to meet you in the fall.
    Rest in peace and I wish the best for your family and friends.”

    Neah Rose: “I’m
    up at 3am still trying to put this together in my head … I didn’t
    know you personally but I’ve been around you long enough to know that
    you had a good heart . And it baffles my mind like crazy thinking about
    what I’ve heard that has happened … As I’m just pondering , it makes
    me wish I had the chance to know more about you . Maybe I could of been
    an extra hand or shoulder to lean on . And I didn’t think it would hurt
    me enough to shed a tear … It did hurt when I found out but its really
    hurting me to know that you’re life has been ended under the
    circumstances it ended under . God has an angel with him … I will
    never forget you bridgee !!!! BRIDGEEEEE LOVE c/o 2014 !!! :'( R.I.P
    Henry ..”

    Kelsey Killoran: “That
    it takes the passing of Henry’s life to generate this movement is a
    testament to how far we have yet to come in making real change in a
    society that drives us to such desperate acts. Let us please commemorate
    his passing with more than an ephemeral memorial; let us act each and
    every day with Henry in our hearts, teaching us to remember that life is
    precious, and that every soul we meet has a story that is yearning to
    be told, held, comforted, and healed. Henry, I never met you, but you
    will forever be in my heart.”

    Sara Golden: “its
    so good that you wrote this about Henry. i dont know who he is but last
    night when everyone was getting the news via smartfones, i couldnt help
    but ask the group i was with: why we arent talking about the bigger
    picture here? how can we just let this be a one-night discussion when
    we’re all, as Cal students, as university students, as young people
    today, as humans, going through such tremendous, overwhelming stress and anxiety?you said it, Henry’s story represents the oppressed community silenced
    by the stigmas of mental illness, depression, suicidal thoughts, and the
    like.if we are to stand in solidarity with anything these
    days, it MUST be in solidarity with those who need our strength,
    compassion, and shoulders to lean on. what more could one ask for as a
    member of the human community?Henry, you will be missed.

    Melisa EvelynIm: “I never met him, and it saddens me that now I never will.Thank you to the creators of this event for pointing out the
    shortcomings of us as a community. We can’t point fingers of blame at
    any specific party, but what we can do now is be there for each other.
    He must have felt so alone and sometimes that’s just what a college
    environment does. It isolates us. Let’s create a movement for change and
    be kinder, extend our friendships to those around us, take the time to
    care about strangers, and make the attempt to make someone happier
    everyday.RIP Henry. I can tell that you are loved. I hope
    that from this horrible occurrence something positive might arise.
    Everyday we should reach out and make the world a less lonely place.”

    • Temperancewilde

      Nothing good can arise from this.  Suicide ripples and wrecks all it touches.

  • Jen

    Let’s celebrate his life and our memories with him. The reason why he did it – only Henry knows. To speculate or to add an agenda is an insult to his memory and downright shameful and insensitive to those who knew him. RIP Henry. Rock on. 

  • Jen

    Let’s celebrate his life and our memories of him. Let’s not speculate about why – only he knows. This is not the time to push agendas. To speculate or to push an agenda is an insult to his memory and downright shameful and insensitive to those who knew him. 

  • Killerinstinct

    rest in peace young man

  • ArwenUndomniel

    Sorry to hear Henry passed away. May he RIP! Condolences to his family….

  • minitru

    Can people stop speculating why he did it. The fact is that it happened and we need to respect Henry’s memory. Also, do not use his death for political agendas–no matter how positive they might seem. My thoughts go out to friends and family.

    • Nope

      “Can people stop speculating why he did it?”
      No, no they cannot stop speculating.

      “Also, do not use his death for political agendas.”
      In public discourse, the matter is inherently political.

      You do not grasp the difference between public and private discourse.
      Tact? Taste? In public? Are you kidding?

    • Guest

      We are all entitled to our own unique grieving processes. Let’s keep the focus on Henry.

    • Guest

      Respecting his memory and trying to understand why a young person would end his life don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Hearing about his death, just blocks away from where I live, was a heartbreaking moment. I never met him, but it hit me so hard that I haven’t been able to sleep soundly ever since. I wish I could have met him and seen the wonderful smile everyone talks about – but it’s exactly because of this anguish that people speculate. Speculation is a natural part of the grieving process. Get off your high horse and let people be.

  • Guestabc

    Did someone leave a cigarette next to the memorial of flowers and candles?

    Poor kid, hope he didn’t suffer.

  • Guest

    If the Daily Californian hasn’t confirmed his identity, do they know that the family has been informed before posting his name?

    • RestInPeace

      In this day and age, there is no more confidentiality or period of waiting. His name was known to anyone with a computer within an hour or two of it happening. The Daily Cal used his name way after it was already widely circulated and an memorial page with thousands of responders had already been set up for hours. RIP.. 

    • Guest

      no dailycal likes to release names without people’s consent. i was a victim once

  • Deepest condolences to this student’s family and friends. 

  • Adrianvondoom

    a member of the 1st generation of the Towle Hall Family (2005-2006
    resident), my condolences to the parents, family, and friends.

  • ArwenUndomniel

         How do you “fall out of window”? Also,  considering he wrote on his facebook page indicating his status as  “RIP HENRY TREADWAY 11/18/91 – 5/8/12”, this looks like a suicide attempt. Hope he is o.k.

    • david.L

      At this point, this is no longer a suicide attempt. It is suicide, since he has passed away long before the article was published here.
      rip Henry Treadway…

  • Ellen Lee

    Was it because of his grades?

    • Guest


    • Guest

       You’re an idiot

    • Dannygirl78

      you are not an idiot.  But for those of us who love Henry and deeply wish this was just a bad dream, it’s just not our biggest concern.  I wish he knew (and that EVERYONE knew) that people care.  People will listen and it helps to lean on others in dark times.

  • the devil

    This school is tough. This death is a UC tradition. That’s why high balconies and the Campanile have barriers. Too bad these young people only feel that they must get the highest grades in order to be worthy to live. Sorry, but this looks like another kid who was severely overwhelmed by competition, stress and blind ambition. here’s the big secret: Skilled trades are not hell on earth failure. You’ll see as you apply for any job that’s open after you have your degree.

    • John Lee

      yes so let’s barrage the deceased kid for his inability to see the potential of life. am i right? the matter of fact is, a kid died, and it’s an unfortunate tragedy. that’s all it should be. stop trying to make this some kind of life lesson.

      i’m not turning my head away from the fact that this could be a learning experience, but this is REALLY not the time. 

    • Sunrise

      If you knew Henry, like me a classmate and friend, you would know was truly a genius.

      • aMom

        Sunrise, I am so sorry for your loss. 

    • Gijgsf

      how do you know it was because of school. Just because he goes here, it doesn’t mean that he was overwhelmed by school. It could be other problems that made him to make that decision.  So maybe you shouldn’t assume and criticize him

    • how do you even know the motivation behind this apparent suicide?

      • Guest

        Does it even matter to know? No, we are still in mourning. So like John lee says, “stop trying to make this some kind of life lesson”. I don’t know how many facebook statuses have been posted about living life to the fullest, blah blah blah. But frankly this is time to mourn the great person Henry was. It’s wrong for us to assume whatever motivation. Rather we should celebrate his life and his spirit. We should support each other, not feed a rumor mill. 

    • Jay

      Ok, I get that people want someone to blame and so that is why so many people are complaining about the lack of barriers. But do you really think that a barrier is going to stop anyone smart enough to get into our school from doing something like this if they want to? Come on now. 

    • Jay

      Oh, and you are making some huge baseless assumptions. Only Henry knows why he did this, please stop speculating. 

    • Excuse me? Do you even go to Berkeley? Seriously, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • UCAdmin Inherent Failure

    (Firstly, no disrespect intended toward Mr. Treadway.)

    Calling Brett Sokolow, JD! Calling Dean Poullard and Office of Student Affairs!
    How could the powers that be fail to anticipate this event?
    After all the $$$ UC spends for legal advice/consulting and program conceptualization/implementation in order to
    i) justify their authoritarian approach to administration, and
    ii) wrap it up in the ‘best interests’ of students, and
    iii) given that the physical safety of students is purported to be paramount, expressly elevated above the existing legal rights of students, in said programs,
    how could they have failed here today?

    Time to admit the truth: the UC cannot baby sit your “kids”, and by “kids” I mean persons at or above the age of majority.

    Whether this was an accident or intentional, whether it was indeed fatal or merely injurious, UC will not admit the truth. Rather incidents like this will be used to further justify entrenchment of the coercive surveillance state.

    • Chris

       “No disrespect to the deceased, but I’m going to take this opportunity of his death to push my own agenda.”

      What are you, a politician? Get out of here.

    • Guest

      Really, you’re going to politicize someone’s suicide? Shame on you. Your agenda should be presented in a different forum 

    • minitru

      This is neither the time or place for that.  The fact that you put “no disrespect to Mr. Treadway makes” it clear to you and others that your actions are disrepectful. You can push your agenda somewhere else. This is about the death of someone who needed help.

    • someone

      Shame on you.

    • Jay

      God, can we please take the internet away from crazies?

  • Raiders Fan

    49ers are gonna win da SUPA BO dis yea yeahhhh boiiiii

  • John

    He didn’t fall. He jumped. Life is tough, and meaning is difficult to find.

    • Jules

      Condolences to his family… I used to live in Towle, they intentionally don’t have outside patios like the other dorm buildings, and most of the windows are made to not open too widely. 

      • Guestabc

        A pair of needle-nosed pliers was all you needed to get the screw out that limited the opening of dorm windows, at least that’s how it was when I was in the Units.

  • =/

    R.I.P. Henry Treadway