Eighteen-year-old Sebastian Serafin-Bazan was a dedicated student who kept a Post-it note above his desk that said “GPA goal 4.0.”
His Ellicott Complex roommate Haris Siddiqui, a freshman business administration major, described him as studious, but fun, someone who shared lots of late-night laughter and had a passion for soccer.
Siddiqui, like the rest of campus, was stunned to learn of his death on Wednesday, six days after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was hospitalized after an alleged hazing involving fraternity Sigma Pi in the University Heights. Serafin-Bazan lived in a quad with Siddiqui and Daequan Rankine, a freshman computer science major.
Siddiqui said Serafin-Bazan was an ideal roommate, who was polite and courteous.
“He always worked really hard,” Siddiqui said.“He would always put his GPA goal up on his desk and I would always see him studying every time I walked in, especially during the first half of the year.”
Serafin-Bazan was a “quiet, nice” guy who could also be funny, Siddiqui said. Rankine said there were always great conversations and many laughs in the room.
“He was really funny and dedicated to whatever he was interested in,” Rankine said.
He loved to cheer for Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, and would watch Juventus games in his room, Siddiqui said.
“He was quiet, kept to himself but at the same time, [he] was never an awkward guy,” Siddiqui said. “We would laugh a lot, though, and one time he laughed so hard he fell out of his chair.”
As a roommate, Siddiqui said his dedication to studying definitely motivated him.
“When you see someone else studying like [him], you say that you better get on top of your stuff, too,” Siddiqui said.
Serafin-Bazan was a Port Chester Senior High School graduate. On Tuesday, Serafin-Bazan’s parents came to the dorm to pick up his belongings, Siddiqui said.
On Wednesday night, the floor was quiet and Serafin-Bazan’s name tag was not on the door. His desk was empty and his bed was stripped.
UB President Satish Tripathi visited the family in the hospital on Saturday and sent his condolences to the family in a statement on Wednesday. He also sent a letter to the UB community. “We join them in mourning the tragic loss of a member of our UB family,” Tripathi wrote. “If you are struggling, please know that our university counselors are here to provide you support in the aftermath of this terrible loss. As we grieve Sebastian’s passing today and well beyond, it is my hope that each of us pauses to remind ourselves that we can only uphold our humanity by treating each other with dignity, compassion and kindness.”
He said UB has sources available for students mourning the loss.
Student Association President Gunnar Haberl also sent an email to the student body. “As we navigate these hard times, it is imperative that we keep Sebastian Serafin-Bazan, his family, and friends in our hearts,” Haberl wrote.
UB Counseling Services can be reached this week at (716) 645-2720 (Richmond Quadrangle) and/or (716) 829-5800 (Michael Hall).
Benjamin Blanchet is the senior engagement editor for The Spectrum. His words have been seen in The Buffalo News (Gusto) and The Sun newspapers of Western New York. Loves cryptoquip and double-doubles.
Jacklyn Walters is a senior communication major and The Spectrum's managing editor. She enjoys bringing up politics at the dinner table and seeing dogs on campus.