USC Student Found Dead Days After Party

The student had not been seen for several days until his roommates found him in his bedroom

A University of Southern California student who was found dead by his roommates this weekend may have died from alcohol poisoning just as school officials cracked down on student partying, officials said Monday.

Thu Yain Kyaw, a sophomore from Singapore whose friends called him "Roy," had not been seen for a few days after a party at his home in the 1300 block of W. 29th Street, just blocks from USC's South Los Angeles campus, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

No one checked Kyaw’s room until Sunday, when his roommates found their friend dead.

The Los Angeles County Coroner has not yet performed an autopsy but the LAPD is investigating Kyaw's preliminary cause of death as "acute alcohol toxicity." 

"It is with enormous sadness that I write to inform you of the sudden passing of a member of our Marshall community and the Trojan Family, Thu Yain 'Roy' Kyaw," USC Dean James G. Ellis said in a statement.

The death comes in the wake of a university-issued ban on weekday fraternity parties following a series of alcohol-related injuries. Kyaw did not die at a fraternity party.

A letter from the assistant dean for Student Affairs called Oct. 12 "the worst weekend of the semester" after seven people were taken to the hospital for drinking too much alcohol. One girl suffered a head injury after falling from a table at a Sigma Alpha Epsilon party.

"I think people are excited to be back in school, and that’s why it’s been out of hand," USC student Nickey Feeney said.


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The party crackdown follows a series of security improvements over the past year that were sparked by an on-campus shooting last Halloween and the killings of two students near campus in April 2012.

Students are now required to show ID to get on campus after dark.

USC Student President Christian Kurth said the improvements were needed. Student groups, though, are pushing back against a new policy that would force students to front the money for any extra security at student-organized events.

"Do we scale back on our events to pay for security?" Kurth said. "What are we going to do? That’s the challenge we’re working with."

Student groups were scheduled to meet with administrators Tuesday to talk about alcohol on campus.

A previous version of this article stated that the coroner said Kyaw's cause of death was acute alcohol toxicity, but  only the LAPD gave that as a preliminary cause of death. The coroner has not yet performed an autopsy.

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