Boston University student Chung-Wei “Victor” Yang brought people together with his passion and friendliness, said his housemate Joanne Chang, a School of Management sophomore.
“It seemed like the moment you met him, we were friends for years, but I’d just met him, so I was overwhelmed by his enthusiasm,” Chang said. “Later on, I realized it’s just him and it’s how the atmosphere he creates is happiness. You just don’t feel like you’re a stranger toward him and you can tell him anything you want. There’s a special spark he makes between people.”
Yang, 21, died Monday in a traffic accident at the intersection of Harvard and Brighton Avenues while riding his bicycle.
An international student from Taiwan, Yang came to BU in January to pursue his passions and study international relations. He aspired to become a diplomat.
“He has always been very polite, not like a stranger kind of polite, but always very nice to people and he’s always taking care of everyone,” said Yang’s cousin Ellie Bai. “He was really the sweetest person in my family and everyone loves him and everyone misses him.”
Andy Huang, a College of Arts and Sciences sophomore who also lived with Yang, said Yang could jump into any conversation and was interested in everyone he met.
“He was always thinking about someone,” he said. “I told him, ‘You care about people you’ve only met once or twice too much.’”
Isabella JiangCheng, a friend of Yang’s from high school in Shanghai, said he was more mature than his peers.
“He valued everyone’s feelings and he cared,” she said in an email. “Even when he was low I never heard him complaining behind anyone’s back.”
Bai said he loved BU and loved the city of Boston.
“He really had a good time here,” Bai said. “He found something very special here and whatever it is, it made him very happy and he had an enjoyable life here.”
Huang said Yang found Boston to be a cozy and welcoming city.
Ben Devette, Yang’s cousin, said Yang enrolled in a summer program at Northeastern University while in high school and discovered his love for Boston.
In addition to his passion for politics, Yang loved food, cocktails, music and literature, friends said.
“He had told me that after he graduates from college, he wants to go to a cooking school in Europe, [Le] Cordon Bleu,” said Qi Xin, a CAS junior.
Charlie Chung, a CAS sophomore who lived with Yang, said Yang was interested in bartending.
“He wanted to minor in [School of Hospitality Administration] for the wine tasting course, because he had a good sense in making cocktails,” he said. “He told me he wants to open a small bar after he graduates just for people he knows.”
Henry Chao, a College of Engineering sophomore who lived with Yang, said he loved to host friends and was always a responsible host who took care of his guests.
“One time, after he drank and everything should be messy, the next day we woke up and everything was clean,” Chao said. “He came back and washed all the dishes.”
Chang said Yang taught her the importance of loving friends.
“He doesn’t really separate friends in levels or degrees, he just puts them all in one,” she said. “Even if you’re not really close with him, he puts you as a priority. He teaches me not to separate people into different degrees or levels, you have to treat everyone the same and they will give you back as much as you give them.”
Chang said Victor’s parents requested an increase in security and awareness after his accident, from both BU and the city of Boston.
“They don’t want some other peoples’ sons and daughters having incidents,” she said. “They hope that this could be the last.”
Bai said she was pleased to see how happy Victor was with his life at BU.
“He had so many good friends here and he had such a good life here,” she said. “I’m really happy the city of Boston and this school and his friends provided him such a good, but sadly short, time here.”