McRobbie issues statement on student deaths



IU President Michael McRobbie issued a statement on the deaths of IU Bloomington students Yaolin Wang and Joseph Smedley Saturday afternoon.

Earlier this week, Wang was found dead in Stratum Apartments from stab wounds. This investigation is ongoing. 

Smedley was reported missing Wednesday morning and found dead in Griffy Lake Friday night from an apparent drowning.This investigation is also ongoing. 

"The positive energy and excitement associated with the early weeks of a new academic year on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington has been sadly and abruptly shattered this week, as tragedy struck the campus twice in a very public fashion with the untimely deaths of two promising students,” McRobbie said.

Wang was a junior transfer student who had just begun her IU journey this fall, but who already had immersed herself in the Bloomington campus community, while Smedley was a sophomore biochemistry major from Indianapolis who had many friends on campus, McRobbie said.

"Any time a student dies, the entire campus community is diminished, and to lose two students in a span of days multiplies our collective grief and sense of mourning,” McRobbie said. “To the family and friends of Yaolin and Joseph, I extend our deepest sympathies on behalf of the entire Indiana University family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of unfathomable sorrow and loss.”

McRobbie encouraged students who feel they need some extra support in dealing with these tragic events, to use the resources available. IU Counseling and Psychological Services has counselors available around-the-clock at 812-855-5711 by selecting option 1 at the prompt, McRobbie said.

"There is no way to prepare for the sudden and premature loss of life that has occurred in our community this week,” McRobbie said. “The best we can do, perhaps, is to support one another and make the time to the cherish our friends and loved ones every day.”

"Again, our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of Yaolin Wang and Joseph Smedley, both of whom have left us far too early,” McRobbie said.

Alyson Malinger

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