To: Members of the University Community
From: Paul Alivisatos, President, and Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Today’s Incidents
Date: November 9, 2021
Dear Members of the University of Chicago Community,
This is a deeply painful day for our community and our city. This afternoon we received the terrible news that a recent graduate of the University was shot and killed off-campus in the course of a robbery. The graduate’s name will be shared once their family has been notified. Earlier this same day, there was another incident of gunfire off-campus, near the University’s Polsky Center and Harper Court. In that case thankfully no one was injured, but many of our colleagues and neighbors were shaken by the sudden threat of violence.
We have been in close contact with Mayor Lightfoot, Chicago Police Department Superintendent Brown and other members of the Mayor’s team, along with local aldermen, and are speaking again tomorrow. The City is formalizing, with the University’s involvement, a number of short and longer-term public safety strategies specifically for the Hyde Park and surrounding communities. More will be communicated soon.
Our city struggles with many of the same issues of violence that afflict all large cities in the U.S. Unless we can meet that challenge together, our communities will not truly feel safe. The University and the Hyde Park community make up one of this City’s great neighborhoods, and we are fully committed to doing more as a University and as an anchor institution on the South Side. This includes developing comprehensive efforts to reduce violence, and supporting Chicago’s communities in securing a safer future. As Provost Lee said in an August message on public safety, we have taken a number of positive steps, but know there is much more to do. This includes mobilizing the academic and policy expertise of the UChicago community to engage with other national experts and officials in efforts to strengthen our cities and reduce the human toll of gun violence. We will push constantly for our city and our own University community to work on this problem with the immediacy, vision and ambition that it demands.
It is also vital to support the University community in our time of grief. Students can visit the Get Help site for a full array of available resources. Counselors at UChicago Student Wellness are available by phone at 773-702-3625, and students may visit the Student Wellness website to learn more or schedule a counseling appointment. Academic Advisers and Religious Advisers are also available to talk with students. Assistance for faculty and staff is available through Perspectives, which can be reached any time at 800-456-6327.