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April 8, 2014

Kodi Beckles mourned by family, peers

PLATTSBURGH — Last Friday, Kodi Kadeem Beckles was inducted into the Alpha Delta Phi Society.

Monday afternoon, his Greek family mourned him in Angell College Center’s Cardinal Lounge, where SUNY Plattsburgh officials invited students to go to share their grief with one another.

“They are virtually unable to speak,” society adviser Jon Chatlos said, “they’re crying so hard.”

Chatlos, an associate professor of English, met Beckles for the first time after the induction.

“I introduced myself to him afterward,” he said. “He was an upbeat, outgoing, happy, good-looking guy. He was thrilled to be a part of this group.”

LOVED SPORTS 

Beckles, 20, had begun school at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2013 after graduating from Dutchess County Community College with a degree in criminal law, according to his Facebook page.

He was an avid sports fan, especially of NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder, said friend and fellow SUNY Plattsburgh student Michael Haynes.

“We always played basketball together,” he said Monday. 

Beckles was heavily involved in campus organization Club Caribbean and was organizing a Miss Club Caribbean Pageant for later this month, Haynes said. 

‘IMPOSSIBLE LOSS’

As a parent himself, Chatlos said, he was shocked to learn Beckles had died and is grieving for him.

“This is the worst possible thing that could have happened,” he said. 

“The college will stay strong, and the society will help out and give all the help that we can, but as a parent, what an impossible loss. 

“I don’t know how to deal with that.”

Chatlos appreciated the college’s quick response, making counselors and private space available for students who needed such support.

“I’ve taught at several other colleges,” he said. “I was at Potsdam, I was at Georgetown, I was at American University. Plattsburgh (is handling) the situation as well as any college that I know.

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