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UCSB Student Dies While on Study Program

Andre Ramadan, a second-year political science major, died of unknown causes on Nov. 6 while on the Semester at Sea Program.

Andre died in his on-ship room while the vessel was docked at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The ship’s student life staff and vessel management company, in addition to Vietnamese and American authorities, are investigating the cause of Andre’s passing.

Andre Ramadan

David Hunter Cordeiro, a third-year UCSB student who lived next door to Andre in the dorms, said Andre loved to play tennis and spend time with his friends.
“He was really friendly, the kind of person that just said hi to everyone,” Cordeiro said. “He was goofy, just a big teddy bear — a really friendly guy.”

Andre’s cousin, Nick Colachis, said he misses Andre dearly.

“He was just one of those people who made you feel better when you were around him,” he said.

Third-year political science major Connor Kennedy said Andre’s enthusiasm for life was apparent to those who knew him.

“Andre was passionate about people and cultures; he would have just said ‘life.’ Somehow, he understood it all,” Kennedy said. “Being around people, experiencing people and just living, interacting — that was what made him happy. He wanted to get on that boat with other people who loved seeing the world and exploring how people associate; the world to Andre was people.”

Zack Guthrie, a third-year economics and political science major, said Andre was a kind-spirited friend to all.

“Andre will be missed the world over,” Guthrie said. “If there’s anything that I will remember for the rest of my life, it’s that this kid just had the biggest heart.”

According to Guthrie, the Ramadan family has received the autopsy results and wishes to keep them private.

“They will not release [the autopsy]; it’s a personal family matter. As far as the family has let anyone know, it was a natural death,” Guthrie said.

News Director of Public Affairs George Foulsham said Andre died due to unknown medical causes.

“We don’t know [exactly what happened],” Foulsham said. “All we know is that there are no updates on how he died.”

While Cordeiro said he knows what happened, he added that he is “not supposed to disclose it.”

According to Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs for the Institute for Shipboard Education Lauren Heinz, investigations are underway according to regulation.

“Anytime you have an incident of this caliber occur, basically we’re governed by maritime law and by our own policies,” she said.

A memorial service was performed onboard two days after Andre’s death and another small memorial was held in Irvine at Saint Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church last Saturday.

Currently, the Semester at Sea program is focused on attending to the emotional needs of the students who were traveling with Andre.

“On Semester at Sea, we’re a very closely knit community. When we have a tragedy like this occur, it deeply affects everyone,” Heinz said. “In the past week or so, our efforts have really focused on making sure that their community can come together to grieve and support one another.”

Semester at Sea faculty members Nina and Geno Carr wrote in their Off Exploring blog about the memorial service and the healing process for students who knew Andre.
“[During the memorial], each person received a flower and processed silently to the aft … of the ship. One by one as we passed by we each said a prayer or sent up a good thought and threw our flower into the sea. It was really moving,” the blog post said. “Now the healing begins.”

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8 Responses to UCSB Student Dies While on Study Program

  1. Brian Hickmore

    March 16, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Was so sorry to hear the news. André attended the international school in the South of France of which I am the Principal. I have many memories of André, Nicholas and their parents and would like to convey my deepest sympathy onbehalf of all at Mougins School. We would love to be back in topuch with them, too.

  2. Jean edouard

    February 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Hi i’m a verry good friend of Andre (we are friend since primary (4Yo)), i’m from france he was like my brother i now his mother and Nicolas his brother…
    can some on contact me i need to call his familly (letta his mother) to tel her how much i care and want to have news…
    please contact me there is my mail: jean_ed@hotmail.com
    some one answer me i don’t have any way to contact letta or any member of familly
    I hope some one will answer me

    That my friend rest in peace and Never forget him he was a great man, more a friend, a brother

    sorry for my english i’m french !

  3. john

    November 20, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    @EIC: The section of the website you referred to doesn’t contain any part of your editorial policy, it just contains a copyright notice (as of the time of this posting). Either admit a mistake or be honest about what’s going on here, but this whole thing smacks of a lack of editorial discretion and it’s more worthy of Glenn Beck then you guys.

  4. Megan Singleton

    November 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Pieces from this article are true in that Andre was dearly loved by many who knew him. Overall, this obituary makes me feel sick. Instead of focusing on how he died, it would have been more respectful to celebrate his short but great life. Think of his family for God’s sake. This is shameful for the Nexus and I suggest that in the future, the writers realize that their words carry great implications. I sincerely hope that your readers don’t make assumptions about Andre’s life based on the intrusive and unnecessary statements made in parts of this article.

  5. Professor Cuddlecore

    November 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    The Nexus if fucked.


  6. Mina Zivkovic

    November 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    This article was written in completely poor taste, and that’s that. Andre Ramadan was a great friend to many on campus, and many of us are hurt, insulted, and shocked at the lack of discretion and respect in your article. Andre was a human being, not a source for your morbid fascination! If the Daily Nexus truly cared, the editors would have realized that Andre’s passing shouldn’t be insulted with gossip like he was a stranger. He was a student and a wonderful member of our campus. He was one of your peers, Lexi Pandell. Maybe if you had the pleasure of knowing him, you would understand.

  7. Editor in Chief

    November 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    The Daily Nexus Editorial Board deleted several posts associated with this story. Please refer to our editorial policy on the About/Contact tab under “Legal Notices” and in the FAQ tab. Any questions can be directed to eic@dailynexus.com.
    Thank you for your interest in our publication.
    Our hearts go out to Andre’s friends and family.

  8. Chandra Reed

    November 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and dignity, regardless of whether they are alive or dead. To the Daily Nexus: Andre Ramadan isn’t a journalistic story for you to pursue, he’s one of our peers and was a very dear friend to many of us here at UCSB. Those of us who knew Andre are still grieving, and its incredibly hurtful to have his death sensationalized, not mention that it lacks journalistic integrity and basic human compassion. To *****: you have absolutely no right that I know of to disrespect the memory of a fellow human being, and you should feel ashamed of yourself for treating the death of this amazing young man with such callous heartlessness.
    To *****, I’m with you buddy, and I support you all the way.

    (Editor’s Note: The names of two individuals were removed from this comment in accordance with the Daily Nexus policy.)