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December 10, 2009

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Home » Metro » Education

School denies role in suicide

SHANGHAI Maritime University issued a public statement yesterday to refute an online accusation that it caused a student to commit suicide.

The 30-year-old student, from a poor single-parent family in Hubei Province, had brought her mother with her to school after admitted to the university in September.

Without leaving a word, she suddenly killed herself at the end of last month.

Family members accused the school of forcing her mother to leave before she found a suitable apartment.

Their complaints had attracted much attention online.

Peng Dongkai, director of the university's publicity department, disputed those complaints.

"We had tried a lot of means to help her," Peng said.

"The school had offered her part-time jobs and a cheap apartment."

Yang Yuanyuan, a graduate student who majored in law, committed suicide on November 26 by hanging herself in a dorm bathroom.

The school is now discussing compensation with family members, who said the school's cruelty drove the student to despair and caused the tragedy.

"Yang was living alone in her dorm when she died, but she used to have a roommate, who was forced to move out because of her and her mother," Peng said.

"Her mother had been living in the dorm for 70 days, which is against the school regulation and disturbed the campus administration."

Yang's mother moved out of the dorm in the middle of last month after the school offered them an apartment in the teachers' building with a monthly rental fee of 400 yuan (US$59), school officials said.

Peng said the school also arranged subsidies and work-study program for her after learning of her situation.

The university also added that Yang was unemployed for about four years before the enrollment.


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