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Social IQ lower in today's college student

2013-04-24 10:36 Global Times     Web Editor: Wang YuXia comment

A college student became famous overnight after carrying six laptops, three cameras and a tortoise - all belonging to his roommates - to safety when Saturday's 7-magnitute earthquake hit Ya'an, Sichuan Province.

In the wake of two shocking campus crimes, Huang Yuzhou, a 21-year-old sophomore at the Arts & Sciences College of Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu, is being dubbed "China's good roommate," and his actions have added to the recent debate over the health of relationships on campus.

Polar opposites

By Tuesday, more than 256,000 Web users had commented on the news.

"The recent murders make students shiver when they mention the word 'roommate.' Huang's action makes us trust roommates again," said Sina Weibo user Bieqixiaoji.

"I hope Huang's deed can cure all the broken hearts and help the youth enjoy life," said another Sina Weibo user.

"I'm flattered that many netizens regard me as a hero," Huang wrote on his Sina Weibo, adding that he feels very close to his roommates.

On April 16, Huang Yang, a doctoral candidate at Fudan University, died after being poisoned. The main suspect, his roommate, is currently being detained, and police are still investigating the motive. The same day, a student at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics was stabbed to death by his classmate over a quarrel.

Last week, a survey by the Chongqing Morning Post and news portal showed that 84 percent of the 2,390 respondents said they were disturbed by the deterioration of relations on  campus. When asked who is responsible for this degradation, 82 percent of respondents blame society, 31 percent felt it was the school's fault, and 17 percent pointed at the students' parents.

Recognizing the causes

These tragedies shocked the nation and raised concerns over relationships among college students.

"Most college students today are only children. They face huge pressures because their parents attach too many expectations to them," Zhang Youming, a software engineer who graduated from Peking University in 2000, told the Global Times. He added when he was in school, his peers were better socialized and had less pressure.

Overuse of the Internet is another cause of the rift between roommates, Hu Yiqi, a grad student at Beijing Jiaotong University, told the Global Times.

 "On the Web, students can find anything they want, so they spend more time indoors and less time socializing with their roommates, " Hu said.

Ran Jiangfeng, deputy director of physicians at Chongqing Medical Psychotherapy and Counselling Center, says that social circles, family education and school environment all contribute to students' well-being.

Students should learn to express their moods, said Wu Mingxia, an associate professor with Southwest University.

"In China, children are taught to be tolerant and keep silent when facing problems, which is not healthy," Wu was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "As they always repress themselves, they will hate others, which ... is very dangerous."

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