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An Update on Safety and Transportation

January 25, 2016

Loyola Community,

I want to provide an update on the tragic situation that involved one of our students Friday evening near 6701 N. Clark. Leaders from several University departments gathered this morning to discuss the situation and to continue focusing on the safety and well-being of our Loyola community.

Many of the questions we have received, both via e-mail and through social media, have focused on the prognosis of the injured student and general safety at, and around, our campus. It is with great relief to report that the student continues to recover from her injuries, and we remain in contact with her family to address any needs they have. Below are some other updates:

Campus Safety
At present, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) continues to develop and follow leads on the case. To reiterate what we do know from CPD: They believe our student was an unintended target and that shots were fired from a passing vehicle. Witnesses reported seeing a gray-colored Nissan Altima flee the scene of the shooting. No information on offender descriptions has been provided at this time.

Campus Safety continues to maintain a strong partnership with CPD and both departments will continue to work closely together. Our officers patrol within our extended boundaries (the incident happened outside of these boundaries), in both marked and unmarked vehicles, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department is in regular contact with the 24th District, which includes our Lake Shore Campus. Campus Safety also has access to, and continues to monitor, CPD’s zone frequencies (radio). The department is ready to assist CPD at a moment’s notice, as they did on Friday evening when the shooting occurred outside our boundaries. As CPD continues to investigate the case, our officers are ready to assist, as requested.

Campus Transportation
On Saturday, we contacted MV Transportation, the University’s shuttle and 8-RIDE service provider, regarding our interest in increasing the number of vans available for the 8-RIDE service over the weekend, anticipating an increase demand for service. The result was additional vans being put into service on both nights. On Monday morning, we reviewed the number of calls from Saturday and Sunday and saw that requests for the service were no more than usual. Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the number of calls that come in for the service and will staff 8-RIDE accordingly.

I also want to highlight a few other next steps that will occur this semester:

  • Safety Forum—As we have in the past, we are planning to organize a forum in the near future that brings together Thomas Murray, our chief of police and director of Campus Safety, a representative from CPD’s 24th district office, a representative from 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore’s office, and members of the Student Development staff to address any questions you might have about safety, off-campus living, transportation options, and more. We will communicate a date and time to you once everything is set.
  • Shuttle and 8-RIDE App—Members of the Campus Transportation team and the transportation committee of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago have been working with MV Transportation on the development of a new app that will allow the Loyola community to better engage with, and track, the shuttle and 8-RIDE services. 8-RIDE users will be able to request a ride, view the location of vehicles in service, and monitor the time it will take for the ride to arrive, all without having to contact and speak with a service dispatcher. We’re excited to offer this streamlined approach to accessing transportation around campus, and we expect the app to be available in early March.

Please know that the safety of all in our community is a priority, and we are working with many people, inside and external to Loyola, on the issues of crime and safety. As always, members of the Student Development staff are available to talk with any student who has questions about Friday’s incident or has other concerns. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you are in need of anything. I also encourage you to engage with the neighborhood community around us. We continue to participate in CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) meetings, and they are a great way for neighborhood residents to monitor activity in the neighborhood. A schedule of CAPS meetings can be found on the websites of 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore and 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman.

Sincerely,

Jane Neufeld
Vice President for Student Development