Southern Chinese University Making Students Sign Suicide and Injury 'Disclaimer'By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Colleges and Universities across the globe tend to offer counselling services within its campus for suicide prone students and extend care for their well being. However, a university in Southern China is making freshman sign a 'Suicide Disclaimer' to avoid any kind of responsibility and to hold themselves accountable for suicides and injuries on campus.
Officials at the City College of Dongguan University of Technology in China's coastal Guangdong province said that the additional paperwork reminds around 5,000 freshmen of the long-standing school policy.
According to China Daily, the contract has been introduced after a male student stabbed and wounded a female schoolmate in a university dormitory after she refused to be his girlfriend last school term.
Dismissing the local media reports, a college official said that the contract is just the 'dormitory code of conduct' and by asking the students to sign, they hope them to follow the rules and thereby take care of themselves.
Surprisingly, most of the students have given a positive nod to the school's decision because many of them feel that suicide and self-injury cases are not caused due to study pressure, but due to love affairs, employment pressure, family background and interpersonal problems.
However, others feel that the university officials have made the move to escape rising litigation costs in the country.
Annoyed parents and online commentators claimed that this adds additional pressure on already overstressed students. The university just wants to avoid potential future tragedies.
"I think this kind of agreement is irresponsible and unfair, and I doubt it's going to have any effect on student behavior," said Ms. Li, whose son just started his first year at college. "The school should provide counseling services and other help for students, instead of trying to absolve themselves of responsibility even before anything has happened."
"The university shouldn't pass the buck when things happen on campus," another parent said.
Relatively low suicide rates have been observed among college students, around one or two per 100,000 people in recent years - a figure well below the national average. According to the Ministry of Health, in 2010 the suicide rate in larger urban areas was 6.41 per 100,000 people and in rural areas, it was 10.01 per 100,000.