Chinese University Makes New Students Sign ‘Suicide Waivers’

September 18, 2013 Updated: September 18, 2013

Students starting at a university in Guangdong Province are now expected to sign an agreement absolving the institution of responsibility should they commit suicide or harm themselves.

At the City College of Dongguan University of Technology, more than 5,000 freshman students had to sign the paperwork, according to Nanfang Daily News.

The disclaimer may be due to a stabbing at the university last term, when an enamored male student injured a female student in a dormitory, after she refused to be his girlfriend, China Daily reported.

However, a college official said the waiver was not related to this incident, and is simply the “dormitory code of conduct.” 

More than 25 percent of college students had suicidal thoughts in a psychological study conducted by the Social Survey Institute of China (SSIC) cited by China Times.

There have been more than 42,400 comments about the news on Sina Weibo.

One blogger said: “[Schools] don’t consider why kids commit suicide. Love affairs aside, isn’t this a source of indifference and pressure from the school? Requiring students to sign this agreement is shirking responsibility. How can students educated in such a school have any sense of responsibility? This is how society collapses.”

Another remarked: “In recent years, quite a few colleges forced students to sign similar contracts. In 2010, Shandong Jianzhu University also made students sign a ‘life and death’ agreement, which triggered numerous comments. The real problem is why do such ‘dictatorial agreements’ repeatedly appear on campus? … It’s a disgrace for the education system.”

Research by Lisa Huang.