The Nation, July 19, 2002
'Belt' study method kills student
A fourth-year student at Assumption University was found dead yesterday, sitting upright with a belt looped around his neck. His mother said the belt, which was attached by a rope to the door of his room, was his way of keeping himself awake while preparing for exams.
Eak Chongsawatwattana, 21, who was described as having a strong academic record, was found in his bedroom at a house in Bangkok's Suan Luang district. His neck was bruised, but no further signs of injury were found on his body. He was still seated when police entered his room at 10.40am yesterday.
His mother said that while studying, Eak often strapped a belt around his neck and then connected it the doorknob with a rope. She said he had learnt the method from friends at the university.
Eak's mother said he had told her that if he fell asleep, the belt would tighten and wake him up.
"I warned him many times not to do this but he just didn't listen. Now, he's dead," she said.
Dr Pornthip Rojanasunant, a forensics expert, said it was likely that Eak had died from a lack of oxygen to his brain.
Chavalit Muennuch, an executive at Assumption University, said the school's administration was looking into Eak's death. He criticised the belt study method, saying no one in his or her right mind would consider trying it.
"I've never heard anything like this throughout my 28 years of work in school administration. This student sounds like a masochist. He tortured himself to achieve his goals. This is not the proper way to succeed," he said.
Chavalit said the university would also determine if any other students were using this method and would put an end to it.