TDoR 2024 / 2024 / April / 07 / Basil Brown

Basil Brown

Age 21

7 Apr 2024
Lafayette, Louisiana (USA)

Basil Brown

Basil died by suicide.

Basil Brown was a magnetic person. His presence filled the room and could even make the biggest Debbie Downer smile.

It's what his friends and those who knew him remember most about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who died by suicide last week.

Those who interacted with Brown have only been able to recall positive experiences with the 22-year-old, said Malek Richard, who knew Brown through the UL band program.

“No one had anything bad to say about him. It was always, ‘man, this guy can walk into a room and fix everything immediately,’” the 19-year-old said. “He always had such a good outlook on life.”

Brown always “spoke up for the little guy,” Richard said, and was an advocate for the LGBTQ+ and disability communities.

Brown shined creatively. He was the “clarinet player with the fire fits,” a fellow band member told Richard about Brown and the outfits he would wear. He combined his knowledge of coding with his artistic eye to code a unique universe to life. It was his pride and joy.

But Brown’s friends have said they’ve barely had time to grieve. They’ve criticized the university for its handling of Brown’s death claiming it wasn’t transparent after Brown’s death leading to misinformation and more pain.

A group of about 200 students, staff and others gathered Monday afternoon near the UL student union to call on the university to change its welfare check protocol, update its emergency notification system, publicly acknowledge Brown's death and better staff its wellness center with more certified mental health personnel.

Had the system been different, if it were better structured to support those struggling, Brown’s friends said they wouldn’t have to shoulder the responsibility to call for change.

“If (Basil) had been taken care of properly, Basil wouldn’t be in the place he was in,” Richard said. “When someone is (in that) situation, they’re not thinking rationally. There has to be someone to make the grand decision of ‘what do you need right now?’ instead of ‘what do you want?’”

Basil's Instagram profile is

Report added: 19 Apr 2024. Last updated: 12 May 2024

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Get me out of here!