Mother to Tell Tragic Tale

Andrea Cooper has a tragic tale to tell. But it is a story she is willing to share in her hopes of helping others.

In an appearance at William Woods University next week, Cooper will tell the story of her 20-year-old daughter’s acquaintance rape, resulting depression and subsequent suicide.

Called “Kristin’s Story,” the program is free and open to the community. The presentation will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.

Kristin Cooper, a Baker University (Baldwin City, Kan.) elementary education student and member of Alpha Chi Omega, committed suicide on New Year’s Eve, 1995.

She had been raped by a “friend” in August and exhibited classic signs of depression throughout the fall semester—fatigue; feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or despair; loss of concentration; lack of interest in activities; sleep problems; constantly listening to sad music, and withdrawal. She was missing classes and not turning in assignments, and her grades had dropped.

She did not tell her parents about the rape. When she returned home to Colorado for Christmas, she “put on quite a front” and “seemed happy,” according to her mother. Her death was a shock to everyone, except a sorority sister who had suspected problems and tried to get her into counseling.

Andrea Cooper, a graduate of Florida State University and a member of Delta Delta Delta, has told the story of her terrible loss at more than 240 campuses.

In the past seven years, more than 80,000 students, faculty and administrators have heard her speak as a result of joint efforts by Alpha Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta.

Andrea Cooper says she makes the presentations for a reason:

“I am sharing this because I hope by telling Kristin’s story that other lives will be saved, and other young women will not be victims of acquaintance rape, and that those suffering from depression, for ANY reason, will get help.”

The program is sponsored by the William Woods University Office of Community Life, Panhellenic Council and Alpha Chi Omega, as well as the Student Activities Office at Westminster College.