The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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In webinar, university addresses campus security, encourages safety resources

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Jaya Alenghat
Eric Heath, associate vice president for safety and security, presents to students, faculty, and parents during the safety and security webinar.

Responding to a series of armed robberies and other crimes near campus, University of Chicago administrators invited the Laboratory Schools parent community to join a webinar regarding campus safety on Oct. 24 from 6-7 p.m. detailing the crimes and safety resources available to university and Lab students.

In the span of about three weeks, the university’s safety and security department believes there were 10 robberies involving a specific group of suspects who were stealing vehicles. Many of these crime incidents can be seen on the university’s crime log

During the webinar, Eric Heath, associate vice president for safety and security, and Michele Rasmussen, dean of students, explained the current crime issues and the university’s various safety resources.

“What we’re seeing is an extension of what is not only a citywide problem, with regards to increased crime,” Mr. Heath said, “it is certainly something you are seeing nationally in major urban areas.”

Due to the high crime rates in Chicago, the university has developed many safety resources, including green light cars, safety ambassadors, escorts, the UChicago and Lab Safe mobile apps, UChicago social media accounts, shuttle services and more, which they encourage all students to use. 

“The extent to which they can try to take advantage of the tools we have will go a long way,” Dr. Rasmussen said, “both in terms of being more aware and educated around safety in general, but also just having some really useful things at their disposal.”

Even with the help of the University of Chicago’s safety measures and tools, Dr. Rasmussen and Mr. Heath emphasized there is no simple solution to stop these crimes.

“Absolute safety is something that we all want to achieve,” Mr. Heath said, “But we also have to understand that the reality of the situation, both locally and nationally, is that we are in challenging times and we are thinking about every single way to address those challenges.”

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About the Contributor
Jaya Alenghat
Jaya Alenghat, City Life Editor
Jaya Alenghat is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as an assistant editor. She began journalism in the 2022-23 school year as a sophomore. Her favorite story she has written is “In finding community, English teacher provides comfort for Latinx students.” Outside of journalism, she enjoys playing tennis, reading and spending time with friends and family. Awards: 2024 Scholastic Press Association of Chicago, sports news story: excellent 2024 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award: Certificate of merit, sports features, “Muslim student athletes navigate fasting during Ramadan while maintaining physical endurance” 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Excellent, news writing

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