Just months after two cases of university students who are suspected of having been poisoned by their roommates made headlines in China, the Chinese public has been shocked by yet another, similar attempt that took place just last month.
The victim, who has chosen to use the alias of “Wang,” was a female student at a university in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, who lived in the school dormitories. Wang left the campus to visit her hometown over the university’s term break in May, and upon returning to her dormitory room, noticed a strangely aromatic smell coming from some white sugar and uncooked rice noodles that she had left behind before her departure. Suspecting that they could be contaminated, Wang sent the food for analysis.
However, before Wang could obtain the results of the analysis, her roommate, whom she only referred to as Zhou, suddenly confessed to her that she had mixed some pet food into Wang’s sugar and noodles. Reasoning to herself pet food was still somewhat edible, Wang passed off the whole incident as a harmless prank.
However, Wang was shocked when the results of the analysis showed that what Zhou had added was in fact an industrial fattening hormone.
Wang said that she had always been on good terms with Zhou, so she could not understand why Zhou would do such thing. “She apologized to me and said that she had a mental disorder, so when the disorder acted up, she carried out the act for no reason,” Wang said during a television interview.
The only conflict that ever took place between them occurred over a provincial-level postcard design competition last year, Wang recalled. Wang and Zhou had submitted similar designs, but while Wang won an award, Zhou only received a consolation prize.
Zhou has since been expelled from the school, and the university has announced that it is conducting investigations into Zhou’s claims that she suffers a mental disorder, although no police reports were lodged.
Another unsolved roommate poisoning case that took place in Beijing in 1995 recently gained international attention after a petition was submitted in early May to the Obama administration’s “We the People” petition platform, asking for the case’s suspect to be deported from the United States. The victim in the case was left blind and paralyzed by the poison, and the suspect is believed to have escaped police investigation because of her family’s powerful political influence.
A postgraduate medical student at Fudan University named Huang Yang was also suspected of being poisoned by a roommate through bottled water this April.
The incident has drawn much attention to issue of unhealthy tensions among Chinese students, and China’s education system as well.
One Chinese netizen wrote, “Those who are still alive should be grateful that your roommate didn’t murder you!”
Another commented, “Teenagers nowadays have such strong urges for revenge, they can bring themselves even to do such immoral things.”
“ What happened to those students? We need to reflect on our education system,” said another.
Another netizen commented, “Even universities are no longer wholesome places anymore, the hatred between people is so deeply rooted that nothing can be done to save them.”
Translated by Olivia Li. Written in English by Tan Shu Yan.
Read the original Chinese article.