This past Friday, we received news of the tragic death of one of our own, Zhifan Dong. Zhifan was a first-year undergraduate student from Anyang, Henan, China. I want to express my deepest sympathy to Zhifan’s family, friends and loved ones. Zhifan’s family will travel to Salt Lake City in the coming days and at that time we will consult with them as to the most appropriate way to remember and honor Zhifan.
Along with many other students from her native country, Zhifan was a participant in one of the U’s global programs, known as Utah Global, which helps immerse first-year international students in the academic and cultural life of the university. We extend our support during this difficult time to all of our international students, particularly her peers in the Utah Global program.
Police are still investigating Zhifan’s death, which occurred in downtown Salt Lake City. They have arrested another U student in connection to the investigation and have indicated this was likely a domestic violence situation. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Salt Lake City Police Department and University Police for their hard work and professionalism on this case.
If you are in need of support, I encourage you to access the campus resources that are listed on safeu.utah.edu. Local and national support is also available from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).