Edward Romano, an active member of the Rutgers—New Brunswick student community, died suddenly on Sept. 30 when his heart stopped beating for unknown causes, according to PolitickerNJ.
Twenty-one-year-old Romano, from Iselin, was referred to as “Ed” by his friends and was a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history and political science, according to his Facebook page. He was president of the Rutgers University Democrats.
“Ed Romano was a warm, compassionate and bright young man,” Benjamin Feldman, executive director of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization told PolitickerNJ. “As head of the Rutgers University Democrats, he had begin to distinguish himself as a leader of a new generation of New Jersey progressives. Here in Middlesex County, we came to know Ed as an inquisitive student of politics who was eager to understand how our democratic process could improve the lives of those throughout the community. His passing is a tremendous loss to those of us who were fortunate to have had the opportunity to know him.”
For a period of time, Romano brought his passion and knowledge for politics home to his former residence hall, Demarest Hall on the College Avenue campus.
Demarest, a special-interest residence hall, offers a number of “sections,” or regular, weekly meetings centered around certain topics, such as creative writing, culture, art or history.
Romano headed the political science/history section when he lived in Demarest during the 2013 to 2014 school year, said Peter Kharmandarian, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
“Anyone who knew Ed, knew him as hysterical, intelligent, full of promise, and always fun to be around,” Kharmandarian wrote in a Facebook status on the afternoon of Sept. 30. "I'll treasure our conversations about nonsense party politics and foreign affairs until five in the morning, I'll miss walking to Pj’s (Grill & Pizza) with you and Connor Stapleton at one in the morning, I'll miss the intellectual and passionate debates we'd have, where I learned so much from you.”
Kharmandarian, who said in his status that he was in a state of shock, first thought the news about his friend’s death was “a joke, a dumb Facebook prank that was going too far.”
“He was incredible,” Kharmandarian said. “He was passionate and intelligent, funny and caring, full of knowledge and driven. Just a really great and positive soul, a fun guy to have in your life."