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Dean of Students addresses student concerns after stabbing near residence

Eleanor Lusciatii, a junior photojournalism major grabs resources left for student at the Arc 37 W. Van Buren St. after speaking to counseling services on Friday, Oct 6. 2023. Resources were made available to students at the Arc after a violent incident took place leaving one person dead on Tuesday, Oct 2. 2023. (K’Von Jackson)

Columbia’s Dean of Students Douglas Eck met with residents of the Arc, located at 37 W. Van Buren St., on Friday, Oct. 6 after a fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old Chicagoan girl near the student housing complex three days earlier.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that another teenager, an 18-year-old woman, was placed in custody on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The incident happened the evening prior, near the Old Colony building, where many Columbia and UIC students live.

The altercation occurred at 59 W. Van Buren Ave. at 11:28 p.m. on Oct. 3, according to Campus Security, which alerted the Columbia community to the stabbing in an email on Wednesday morning. 

Neither of the teenagers involved were students at Columbia College.

Eck said the college talked to the Arc about student and parent concerns around safety and presented recommendations for how they can be addressed. 

“We’ve given the Arc, basically I think, a week or so to look at what is feasible, what makes sense in their structure, what their budget will hold, whether or not they need to talk to the building owners for additional permissions or funds,” he said. 

Eleanor Lusciatii, a junior photojournalism major, said it was nice to hear from the dean, in person, and to get additional details about the crime following the advisory from the college.

“I think that having this meeting time, and this space to talk was a really nice resource to give students,” she said. “I think there was just that element of accountability, in a way.”

Counselors were also available to talk to student residents on Friday.

Daniel Flowers, a sophomore music major, said Arc residents were shaken because the killing was so close to where they live.

“There definitely needs to be better security here,” Flowers said. He said fights often take place near the building.

“There’s a lot of students at night classes or who go out that are coming home,” he said. “Sometimes it’s even in front of the building, like the Arc and it’s kind of like, okay, I’m just trying to go home, and just see these people trying to beat each other to a pulp.”

Lusciatii said the students often get verbally harassed. 

“I don’t know what the Arc security is supposed to do in terms of things that are happening outside of the building,” she said. “I know that having a higher police presence makes some people feel more safe and some people feel less safe.”

Both students told the Chronicle that they’d like to see additional security.

Eck said he thinks a lot about student safety. “Not just the students at the Arc, not just students that live on campus, but students wherever they live,” he said. “Chicago is the third largest city in the country. We have our challenges, we’ve got our opportunities. But at the end of the day, you can’t be a successful student, you can’t be a thriving student, unless you’re safe, unless you feel safe, unless you know that you’re safe.”

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About the Contributor
K’Von Jackson
K’Von Jackson, Former Senior Photojournalist
kjackson@columbiachronicle.com   K'Von Jackson is a senior photography major. Some of his work includes campus crime writing, social justice and changes within Columbia. He worked for the Chronicle from August 2020 through December 2023.   Hometown: Chicago, Ill.