[UPDATE: VIGIL THIS FRIDAY] Christien Rodriguez, Former UC Irvine Student, Falls to His Death From UCI Parking Structure in Apparent Suicide

Categories: School Daze
christien_rodriguez.jpg
Rodriguez, from his Facebook page
Updated, with more info at the bottom. . . .

ORIGINAL POST, March 11, 11 a.m.: Last Friday afternoon, a man fell from UC Irvine's Social Science Parking Structure and was pronounced dead at the scene. It's not known yet whether it was a suicide, although witnesses told the school's New University paper they saw the man jump from the top floor. Last night, the paper identified him as Christien Rodriguez, a former UCI student.

His Facebook page lists Rodriguez as a native of San Diego who graduated from UCI last year and supposedly still works at the university. Other blogs also identify him as being active in LGBTQ causes on campus during his time there.

The tributes are already flowing into Rodriguez's Facebook page. "You were the most considerate person I knew," a friend wrote. "Always there. Always listening, processing, advising. Which is why this makes no sense. Hopefully this anger will go away; you don't deserve it. I love you, Chris. The poetry we wrote together changed my life."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. We'll update the story as it develops.

UPDATE, MARCH 12, 2 P.M. There will be a vigil for Rodriguez this Friday at UCI's Cross Cultural Center starting at 1:30 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the school's LGBT Resource Center director posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the loss of a friend and a leader in the queer community at UCI. Christien Glitch Rodriguez passed away on Friday in the late afternoon.
Christien was a co-founder of T-Time, the support group for transgender, gender queer and gender questioning students. He was a member of the Transgender Task force on the campus and for many of people one of the first visible and openly transgender person many staff, faculty, and students had ever met. He was a longtime speaker for the Center's Speakers Bureau and has presented for several years across the campus. For those of us that were fortunate enough to know him, we will remember his incredibly sharp mind, his awareness, advocacy, and devotion to social justice issues and how he crafted words and language to help people understand marginalized, under-represented, and underserved populations. He was a leader in the housing community at AV. He was heavily involved in Irvine Queers and touched many of the other queer organizations in a variety of ways.

As information becomes available about memorial services or the like, we will do our best to keep people posted.
I would like to encourage the community to do several things:
• Engage in self-care, whatever that looks like for you (walk, journal, talk to a friend, etc.)
• If you are in crisis, seek help. Depending on the level of your urgency:
o Call the Police: 911
o Call the Counseling Center: (949) 824-6457
o Contact the Trevor Project lifeline: (636) 488-7386
o Seek support among your friends and peers
• The LGBT Resource Center is open 9-5 Monday-Friday. Please come by to connect with others that are feeling this loss.

Everyone who knew Christien will feel the impact of his passing in different ways. The feelings can vary greatly from day to day. Please trust and allow yourself and others to process this loss in our own unique and varied ways. There is no single correct/appropriate way to feel.

This is a heartbreaking time for the Queer community and the larger community at UCI as well. We lost a brother. Please do what you can to support each other and to ask for the support you may need.

In solidarity and in grief,

Davidian Bishop

 
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26 comments
inmemoryofchris
inmemoryofchris

i'll never forget you, your kind hearted nature, your convictions and struggle against a system that always ignored or put you down, your courage, and your constant prescense for a friend in need. <3 you chris always and forever

thanksfortheemail
thanksfortheemail

Ummmm, Ok, I know I am going to piss Gustavo off with this.  And no I'm not a racist because I know that is Gustavo's default position for anyone who says anything he doesn't like.  But, and I'm taking a deep breath here because I know he's gonna jump my shit....why are we talking about some random Hispanic guy who jumped off of a parking structure at UCI?  I know of Asians and Whites who have done the same thing recently and not a peep from Gustavo on those.  

Do I see some race favoring here?  Or is it sexual orientation favoring?  And no Gustavo, in addition to not being a racist, I have nothing against gays or lesbians or transsexuals.  And I'll even spin you for a loop, I'm, white, Republican, and a Catholic.  Holy shit fire, did I actually say that???  Amazing. 

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

My brother jumped from a parking structure 10 years ago.  He had paranoid schizophrenia.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

This is like the 2nd or 3rd person to jump from that parking structure. maybe they should consider putting nets up there so people couldnt do that anymore.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

It's so sad to hear these stories :-( RIP

silvermark
silvermark

@thanksfortheemail "And no I'm not a racist..." then why bring up race? Oh, and can you cite the line in the article where Gustavo brings up race? 

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@thanksfortheemail Wow...talk about a troll who will use the death of someone to get at me. We cover ALL college suicides, and you can look that up.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@thanksfortheemail Mr. Arellano may be a lot of things, but in this case, he is, without question, sincere.  Though I can't immediately cite any examples, I've read enough of his muck over the years (many times regrettably) to also know that his reporting on news stories of this tragic nature spans the gamut of race and orientation of the principal individual. 

ksilver
ksilver

@thanksfortheemail how fucking dare you! The person who this article is about is my nephew and my sister's son. He is my family - you're the exact kind of person he worked with trying to change in this world. How dare you speak ill of him. Why don't you remember for one second that everyone has a family and a soul!

inmemoryofchris
inmemoryofchris

@thanksfortheemail to the people he touched and scores of people who knew and cared about him, he was not "random." you bring up race constantly in your statement. it has no bearing to those who lost a dear friend and a loved one. this is not the time nor the forum to bring up discussions of racial biases or sexual orientation. this is a time to grieve and respect the individual who was lost. if you have personal gripes with Gustavo, keep it at that, personal. 

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@paullucas714 Maybe you need to mind your own business. Would you rather he jumped off a bridge onto the freeway? Jumped in front of a train? 

thanksfortheemail
thanksfortheemail

@GustavoArellano @thanksfortheemail Really Gustavo?  That's the best you can do?  Can you provide links to ALL of those suicides.  Do they contain as much info as this post, with updates about memorial services, etc?  You are the one who wrote this.  You are the one who is held to the higher standard.  It doesn't matter that I asked questions about your reporting on this post.  You wrote it and let us comment.  If you didn't want anyone to comment then you should have either A) not written the article or B) closed comments.  And this has nothing about "getting at" you.  I simply asked a very relevant question.  I read your paper on a regular basis and I have noticed a pattern with you when it comes to race related issues...especially race related issues between Hispanics and whites, namely Hispanics are good to go and whites are racists.  So don't call me a troll because I bring up a valid, well thought out, and presented point.  Name calling doesn't strengthen your position either.  And also, I'm not Mr. Diamond for crying out loud.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@thanksfortheemail And I didn't even bring up Christien's ethnicity. But kudos to you for using the tragic death of someone to take a laughable dig at me.

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

@JBinOC 

It would be nice to know more about the poor guy other than the shallow surface of his skin color and sexual preference. I'm sure he was an interesting guy with friends, hobbies, family, and interests. 

thanksfortheemail
thanksfortheemail

@ksilver @thanksfortheemail How fucking dare me?  Well I did.  Really?  You really want to get all pent up over my question?  I think that is a legit question.  I wasn't criticizing your nephew.  I'm sorry he's dead.  But I just don't think given all of the other suicides this is a news worthy event.  Just saying.  Don't hate the player, hate the game. 

ksilver
ksilver

@thanksfortheemail Alright - you're a douche - point noted. No need to keep this up. Btw - not the forum to bring up an argument about race.

krstenalex
krstenalex

@paullucas714 I agree! At least a bigger wall that isn't so easy to just climb over. Parking structure's are only required to have walls 4 ft tall. Also I don't understand why the campus hasn't spent the time and $$ to put cameras up there. Then possibly we'd have time to assist someone rather than only knowing after they jumped. You'd think after multiple jumps from the same spot the university would do something constructive. and as for @vegandawg23 you're an idiot. 

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@CHIMICHANGA Weird response? Guy wanted to kill himself and he did. What do you care how he did it? Someone's gonna be cleaning up a mess somewhere either way. 

CHIMICHANGA
CHIMICHANGA

@paullucas714 @vegandawg23  No kidding, weird response! I agree with you@paullucas714 it would be a start but I think UCI knows this too and like you said "This is like the 2nd or 3rd person to jump from that parking structure" They have monies and can install cameras and  alarm systems a real loud one with lights, in addition they have security guards, also placement of suicide hotline numbers. UCI knows they can prevent it but if they do one little thing to help they may get in legal hot water.

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