For college freshmen anywhere, paperwork is an inevitable drag on the exciting first few days of college life. Spare a thought, though, for the 5,000 freshmen at the City College of Dongguan University of Technology in China’s coastal Guangdong province who were required to sign an agreement absolving the school of responsibility if the students were to commit suicide.
School officials told Chinese media that the agreement serves merely as a ”warm reminder” of long-standing school policy for the new intake of students. But outraged parents and online commentators argue that the process heaps yet more pressure on already overstressed students. “I think this kind of agreement is irresponsible and unfair, and I doubt it’s going to have any effect on student behavior,” says Ms. Li, whose son just started his first year at college and who declines to be identified with her full name.