The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI student’s impact remains

Sean Wu sits with friends in a Daum dorm room earlier this semester. Wu was originally part of a DI Films project about dorm life. (The Daily Iowan/Gage Miskimen)

By DI Staff

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“He was one of those people who you’re like, ‘Wow … he’s going to do really cool things,’ and he still did. He influenced a lot of people and gave people a lot of great memories. He was just a really wonderful person to be around and to enjoy life with.”

University of Iowa student Sarah Henry remembers her classmate Sean Wu as someone who was always genuinely interested in others’ lives.Wu passed away on April 8. He collapsed in the late hours and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. According to UI officials, witnesses said Wu had “suddenly tensed up, as if he was having a seizure and collapsed.”

The cause of death is still unknown and will only be will be available when the toxicology report is complete, which will take a “couple of months,” UI officials said. They said there are currently no updates at this time.

Four days after Wu’s death, friends, classmates, and others who knew him continued to reflect on his life and the impact he made.

Isabelle Fiester, who went to Kennedy High School with Wu in Cedar Rapids, said he was “that goofball in class that everybody likes.”

“I only knew him for about a year of my life, but I’m going to remember him for the rest of my life,” Fiester said.

For many people, Wu will be remembered as someone who constantly tried to make others laugh.

Lydia Yang, a close friend of Wu’s, knew him for 12 years and graduated from Kennedy with him. She said Wu always tried making others laugh, especially with his puns.

“This one pun that he would always say is, ‘It makes dollars to me’ instead of ‘it makes sense to me,’ ” Yang said.

Wu’s love for films was well-known on campus and by those who were close to him. He was a member of the Bijou Horizons committee and joined Bijou in the fall of 2016. Michael Davis, a UI graduate student and executive director of the Bjiou Film Board, described Wu’s love for film as “contagious.”

“Sometimes, our board meetings can get dry,” he said. “Sean used his humor and his wit to fill the room with laughter.”

Wu’s love and passion for films didn’t begin at the UI. Yang said Wu loved watching movies; his favorite was a 2014 coming-of-age movie titled Boyhood.

“Sean just loved it because he was able to watch movies, review them, talk about what he thought about them,” she said. “He had a blog that he’s been running throughout high school.”

Leah Vonderheide, a UI cinema graduate student, wrote in an email to  The Daily Iowan that she worked with Wu on the weekly KRUI radio show “Bijou Banter.”

“He was often on as a guest this year, and he was preparing to become a full-time host next year,” she said in the email. “Sean was an impressive contributor — thoughtful, knowledgeable, insightful, and funny. He was also a genuine joy to be around. I consider myself lucky to have been one of the members of his Bijou family.”

UI student Laura Schwager, who had a class with Wu, said she and him immediately clicked when they met.

“To say that someone like that went too soon is an enormous understatement,” Schwager said. “Sean just touched so many people. I know that his time on this planet serves as an inspiration for us to re-examine the way we view and conduct our lives. I just hope the best for his family and everyone who was close to him.”

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