This is absolutely devastating! University of Pennsylvania junior, Ao ‘Olivia’ Kong, committed suicide on April 11 by throwing herself in front of a train. The tragedy marks the tenth self-inflicted death at UPenn in just three years. Our hearts are completely breaking for Olivia and her family.
So sad! Ao “Olivia” Kong was just 21 years old when she took her own life by jumping in front of a Market-Frankford Line train on the morning of April 11. The finance major, who hailed from Philadelphia, was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying in the Wharton School. And if that isn’t devastating enough, Olivia is the tenth Penn student to commit suicide since February 2013.
“We are deeply saddened to report that a Penn undergraduate student was struck and killed this morning by a SEPTA train at the 40th Street Station,” a statement released by University President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price read. “She was a bright, well-liked and successful member of our junior class. We have been in contact with her family and have conveyed our deepest sympathies to them at this very sad and tragic time.” How awful!
Olivia grew up in Philadelphia and was a member of the Phi Gamma Nu business fraternity as well as the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity. The undergrad was even a Mayor’s Scholar and studied abroad last semester at the University of Melbourne in Australia, according to CBS Philadelphia. We can only imagine how devastated the UPenn community must feel right now, let along Olivia’s close friends and family.
— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) April 12, 2016
On the evening of April 11, students mourned their classmate at a vigil. Her death has also sparked MAJOR concern about depression and suicide on the Penn campus. After all, the university has seen 10 suicides in the last three years, which is absolutely horrific. On April 13, Olivia’s friends organized a gathering in the late student’s honor in which they raised awareness for mental health and discussed resources at the school.
“There are people here that are trying to deal with it,” freshman student Niyathi Chakrapani revealed to ABC News. “But I think the school itself… it is more of a systemic problem. It’s somehow like, ‘You’re in therapy? What’s wrong with you?'” Wow, mental health is definitely not something to take lightly and we sure hope UPenn’s culture changes before more students are lost to suicide. Our thoughts are with Olivia’s loved ones.
HollywoodLifers — please send your condolences to Olivia’s family and friends below.