Note: The following statement was released to Chinese media summarizing the events surrounding the death of student ChenWei Guo. An English translation follows below. The University of Utah is committed to the safety of all of its students, visitors, faculty and staff.

 

留学安全问题慎重对待,犹他大学多措施确保校园安全

刚刚过去的2017年,世界范围内的留学安全事件时有发生,留学安全问题引发了国内社会的持续关注。近期发布的《中国留学发展报告(2017)》就指出,随着当前留学生低龄化趋势日渐凸显和种族歧视依然存在,留学安全问题需要慎重对待。很多媒体在2017留学领域的年终盘点时,也把“留学安全”作为重要关键词之一,并对2017年部分留学安全事件进行了回顾,其中美国犹他大学校园附近的枪击事件备受瞩目。

2017年10月30日晚,23岁的犹他大学中国留学生郭宸玮事件发生后,校方于30日当晚向全校师生发布了警报,并在31日发表声明宣布当天停课,以悼念郭宸玮。据了解,嫌疑人已于2017年10月31日被抓获,目前已被谋杀、抢劫和其他十余项罪名起诉,如果谋杀罪名成立,嫌疑人最高可被判处死刑。 根据事后了解,郭宸玮并非因其民族或族裔而成为目标。他的不幸是由于一起随机的、愚蠢的暴力行为所致。

犹他大学副校长兼学生主任 Lori McDonald博士表示,“对学生来说,犹他大学仍然是非常安全的地方。 事实上,近些年犹他大学一直在校园安全方面加大投入,建立了完备的校园安全机制。“在枪击事件发生后,学校的校园警报系统第一时间通过短信、电子邮件和社交媒体等渠道向全体学生和教职员工进行通知。校园每年全天候24小时都有大学公共安全部的人员巡视。整个公共安全队伍包括70多人,而且都是资质过关的犹他州警察。除了监控和响应警报、控制大学设施门禁以及巡视校园外,该部门还提供全天候的安全护送服务。必要时,盐湖城警察局、犹他州高速公路巡逻队和盐湖城警长办公室也为犹他大学提供必要的支援。

按照联邦政府的国家规定,犹他大学每年都会发布校园犯罪方面的统计数据。与美国的大多数大学一样,校园内的大多数犯罪活动基本都是涉及盗窃和违反本州的酒精管制法律,任何形式的暴力袭击实为罕见。需要指出的是,美国大学校园是严格限制枪支的,警察是校园里唯一允许公开携带武器的人,而且学生宿舍楼不允许藏有枪支。如果想在犹他州购买枪支或获得隐藏武器许可,需年满21岁且没有任何犯罪记录。而要获得隐藏武器许可还需要接受额外的培训。

“在校园安全方面,犹他大学还面向全体学生(包括留学生)提供众多支持服务,如个人咨询(支持大多数语言)、警察教授的安全培训和课程等等。在枪击事件之后,学校对校园安全将更加重视。“Lori McDonald女士表示,郭宸玮同学的离世给犹他大学的每个人都带来了影响,但这起事件也让学校上下更加团结一心。”

为悼念郭宸玮,犹他大学在10月31日全校停课,而后又举办了两场悼念仪式,师生们在FACEBOOK上也纷纷表达了对郭宸玮的哀悼。郭宸玮父母给犹他大学的电邮中写道的:“对于曾认识他的师生所发表的感言我们都很感动。很显然,郭宸玮在过去的两年给大家带来了很大的影响。” 据了解,郭宸玮的亲友专门成立了郭宸玮家族基金会,旨在帮助更多需要援助的人。目前该基金会的官方募捐网站显示,已有700多人向基金会捐款,募集资金近4万美元。

犹他大学留学生郭宸玮的不幸遭遇是偶然事件,留学安全问题需要慎重对待,既不能草木皆兵、因噎废食,因过度担心安全问题而放弃留学,同时要加强安全意识,并做好相关准备,如提前了解国外的法律法规、社会环境,在租房、出行、娱乐、交友等方面提高警惕,当遇到紧急情况时知道如何应对和求助。对于安全有充足的准备和应对之策,才能顺利度过一段快乐、充实的留学时光。

###

In 2017, many in Mainland Chinese society had frequent concerns about safety of students studying overseas. The recently released 2017 Report on the Study of China’s Study Abroad pointed out that, given the gradual trend of younger students going abroad and the persistence of racial discrimination, the safety of Chinese students studying overseas needs to be treated with caution. Many media included the study’s findings when summarizing key events and news — including the shooting near the University of Utah campus — about overseas study.

Guo Chenwei, a 23-year-old Chinese student, was fatally shot on the night of Oct. 30, 2017. The school issued an alert to teachers and students that day and issued a statement on Oct. 31 to announce the suspension of classes to mourn for Guo Chenwei. The suspect in his death  was arrested on Oct. 31, 2017, and faces prosecution on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and more than 10 other counts. If the charges of murder are substantiated, the suspect may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of capital punishment. According to facts from the aftermath, Guo Chenwei was not targeted because of his ethnicity or country of origin. His misfortune was due to a random, stupid act of violence.

Lori McDonald, associate vice president and dean of students at the University of Utah, said, “Utah is still a very safe place for students, and in fact, Utah has been investing heavily in campus safety in recent years to establish a comprehensive campus security mechanism.”

After the shooting, the university’s campus alert system was the first to notify all students and faculty members via text message, email and social media. The campus is staffed by teams from the University Department of Public Safety 24 hours a day. The entire security force includes more than 70 people and is a certified Utah police agency.

In addition, the department also provides round-the-clock security escort services and also monitors and responds to alarms. As necessary, the Salt Lake City Police Department, the Utah Highway Patrol and the Salt Lake City Sheriff’s Office also provide the University of Utah with support.

According to federal government regulations, the university publishes statistics on campus crimes every year. Like most universities in the United States, the primary criminal activities on campus are theft and violation of the state’s alcohol control laws. Any form of violent attack is rare. Only police are allowed to openly carry firearms on the U campus. Students living in residence halls are not allowed to be in possession of firearms. If a person wants to buy firearms in Utah or carry a concealed weapon, he or she must be at least 21 years of age without any criminal record. Additional training is required to be permitted to carry a concealed weapon.

“The university also offers a host of support services for all students, including international students, such as personal counselling (in most languages), security training for professors and classes, etc. After the shootings, Utah will pay even more attention to our students’ safety,” McDonald said. “The passing of Guo Chenwei had an impact on everyone, but it also brought the university closer in unity.”

To pay tribute to Guo Chenwei, the University of Utah suspended classes on Oct. 31 and held two memorial services. Teachers and students also expressed condolences to Guo Chenwei on Facebook. Guo Chenwei’s parents wrote an email to the university saying, “We are very touched by the testimonies from teachers and students who have known him. Obviously, Guo Chenwei achieved much with everyone in the past two years.”

It is understood that Guo Chenwei’s relatives and friends set up a Guo Chenwei Family Foundation, designed to help people in need of assistance. Currently, the foundation’s official solicitation website shows that more than 700 people have raised nearly $40,000.

The tragic experience of Guo Chenwei was an accidental event. Studying safety problems requires careful consideration. Students should not give up their studies due to worrying about their safety. At the same time, they should be aware of their safety and prepare accordingly, such as learning more about foreign laws and regulations, the social environment, rentals, travel, entertainment, dating and other aspects of life abroad. In an emergency, students need to know how to seek help. When students have adequate preparation and response strategies, they will have a successful and fulfilling time studying abroad.

Read more:

Media Contacts

Chris NelsonCommunications Director, University of Utah Communications
Office: 801-581-5180 Mobile: 801-953-3843