The University of Chicago News Office  

Letter to Parents from Vice President Kimberly Goff-Crews

Nov. 20, 2007 (Posted at 12:00 p.m.)

To: University of Chicago Parents and Families
From: Kimberly M. Goff-Crews, Vice President and Dean of Students in the University

Dear University of Chicago Parents and Families,

As you may already know, our community has suffered a terrible loss with the death of Amadou Cisse, an international graduate student, who was shot and killed at 1:26 a.m. on Monday, November 19th on the sidewalk near 6120 S. Ellis Ave.  In addition to the fatal shooting, there were two other incidents on or near campus that may be related: at 12:33 a.m. at 6045 S. Woodlawn, a man was chased by an individual who fired a shot in his direction; and at 1:15 a.m., two women were robbed at 924 E. 57th St. by an individual who said he had a weapon.  Both University of Chicago and Chicago Police Department officers responded immediately to each of these incidents and continue to aggressively investigate these crimes.  For more information please review the email messages that were sent to your student throughout the day yesterday at http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/071119.safety.msg.shtml.

We expect that like us, you are saddened by this news and concerned about the safety of your student.  Please know that we stand by our commitment to do everything we can to ensure the security of all in our community. Our first priority in the last 24 hours has been to support Amadou’s friends and loved ones, to attend to the rest of the University community, and to take a series of immediate as well as sustained actions to increase safety in and around campus.  We have taken the following immediate steps:

  • We have increased police patrols on and around campus, expanding by another 50 percent the number of University police car patrols between 4 p.m. and midnight and doubling the police car presence after midnight around campus.
  • We will supplement squad-car based patrols with additional officers on bicycles. 
  • We have added two additional vans to SafeRide, our late-night van service.
  • Until the opening next spring of our new police headquarters, under construction at 61st and Drexel Avenue, we will set up a visible police substation on the south campus in the next few days. 

For a complete summary of our safety and security resources as well as additional information about the actions described above, please see the document below.

When a tragedy like this happens in our community, we all begin a process of grieving.  Even students who did not know Amadou may feel a sense of loss.  Situations like this can elicit all kinds of complicated and difficult feelings which can often be helped by engaging in a dialogue.  Sometimes that dialogue is private, in the form of counseling; sometimes it is public, when the community gets together to share this experience.

As you discuss these events with your student, please encourage your student to speak with the many faculty and staff across the University who are available to hear their concerns and provide them with services.  Deans of Students and residence hall staff will continue to reach out proactively to our students.   Students who may need additional support are encouraged to contact:

  • Student Counseling and Resource Service, 5737 S. University Ave., 773.702.9800
  • Campus minister, 773.702.7111
  • Other University resources are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week by calling 773.834.HELP

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions do not hesitate to contact us.  If your student is in the College please contact your student’s College advisor or Susan Art, the Dean of Students in the College at 773.702.8615 or art3@uchicago.edu.  If your student is enrolled elsewhere in the University, please contact the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Students in the University at 773.702.7770 or Sheila Yarbrough, Associate Dean of Students in the University at sayarbro@uchicago.edu.

We will continue to provide regular updates on this website. Again, please know that we will continue to do everything we can to ensure the safety of your student. 

Sincerely,

Kimberly M. Goff-Crews
Vice President and Dean of Students in the University


University of Chicago
Summary of Safety and Security Resources

The University of Chicago provides a number of safety resources that are available within the University Police coverage area (north to 39th Street, south to 64th Street, east to Lake Shore Drive, and west to Cottage Grove Avenue).

In addition to our regular evening bus service which operates until 2 a.m. daily during the academic year (http://facilities.uchicago.edu/transpparking/transportation/bussched-evening.shtml), the SafeRide Program provides an accessible on-call van service from midnight to 4 a.m. Monday-Thursday and midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.  To arrange a pickup, call 773-702-2022 and give your address. We also have increased the number of vehicles for the SafeRide program starting immediately.  More information is available at http://facilities.uchicago.edu/transpparking/transportation/index.shtml

In addition, anyone within this coverage area can request assistance through our Umbrella Coverage program at any time from University Police if they feel uncomfortable with their surroundings. Call University Police at 773-702-8181 from an outside phone or 123 from a campus phone, give your location, and the first available patrol car will be dispatched to accompany you.

There are 325 emergency phones in the area, located on thoroughfares heavily trafficked by pedestrians. To activate the emergency phone, press the red button and your location will be immediately transmitted to the University Police. An officer or patrol car will come to your aid.

We advise community members to be vigilant, to take full advantage of our safety resources, and to review the safety guidelines posted at:  http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/071119.safety.msg.shtml

As a result of this tragedy the University has taken the following actions:

We have increased police patrols on and around campus.  In the past few years we have expanded police patrols between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and midnight when most crimes occur.  That approach has been successful in reducing crime.  On Monday evening we began taking the further steps of expanding by another 50 percent the number of University police car patrols between 4 p.m. and midnight and doubling the police car presence after midnight around campus.  Also as of Monday, we have supplemented squad-car based patrols with additional officers on bicycles.  Each of these steps will be maintained indefinitely.

Second, we have added two additional vans to SafeRide, our late-night van service, and expect to make additional improvements to that service as soon as we can determine what changes would be most effective.  The further changes being anticipated include additional vans as well as changes to routes, policies, and other operational aspects of the program to better meet the needs of the University community.

Third, until the opening next spring of our new police headquarters, under construction at 61st and Drexel Avenue, we will set up a visible police substation on the south campus.

At the same time that we take these immediate measures, we will begin a comprehensive review of campus safety and security, seeking advice from both security experts as well as from campus and community members. Among improvements we expect to consider is the installation of additional security cameras on and around the campus.

For More Information:

http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/071119.safety.msg.shtml
http://commonsense.uchicago.edu/
http://help.uchicago.edu/
http://emergency.uchicago.edu

Permalink: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/071120.parents.shtml
Last modified at 01:31 PM CST on Wednesday, November 21, 2007

University of Chicago News Office
5801 South Ellis Avenue - Room 200
Chicago, Illinois 60637-1473
(773) 702-8360
Fax: (773) 702-8324
Contact Us