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A third-year student, Richard A. Guy, 22, of Mission Viejo, CA, was found dead in his East Campus residence hall shortly after midnight Tuesday, Campus Police reported.
Campus Police reported that the student apparently had been using a plastic bag to inhale nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This can result in asphyxiation. The cause and circumstances surrounding the death are under investigation by Campus Police.
Initially, MIT officials had withheld the name of Mr. Guy, a physics major, because they were unable to reach his parents. "I talked to his parents this morning shortly before 11am and notified them of the tragic death of their son," reported Robert Randolph, senior associate dean of students and undergraduate education.
Counselors from the Dean's Office and the Medical Department were on hand last night to meet with students in the residence hall. Counseling resources will continue to be available to East Campus residents and others in the MIT community.
A version of this article appeared in the September 1, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 44, Number 4).