Multiple college student killings across the country cause concern and caution at BenU

Police tape

Michael Horton

Staff Writer

At least seven college students have been killed across the country in the last few days, prompting many institutions, including Benedictine, to examine safety on campus.

“In light of the recent tragic events in University of Virginia and University of Idaho, Campus Safety reminds students, faculty and staff to be vigilant in reporting any concerning behavior exhibited by persons within our campus community,” according to an email from BenU Campus Safety.

Football players from the University of Virginia were on board a bus Sunday night, heading home from an off-campus field trip, when a former player, Christopher Darnell Jones, pulled out a concealed pistol and opened fire, according to a UVA police report. Three players were killed and two were also injured, one in critical condition.

“This is a traumatic incident for everyone in our community,” said UVA President Jim Ryan in an address to the university.

Unfortunately, this was not the only incident of campus violence this week.

Four University of Idaho students were found dead in a house off campus late Sunday night by the Moscow (ID.) Police Department (the university is located in Moscow). “Police responded to a call for an unconscious individual, upon arrival the officers discovered four individuals deceased,” according to a statement from the department.

“Words cannot adequately describe the light these students brought to the world or ease the depth of suffering we feel,” said UI President Scott Green in a statement to the community.

Both universities feel there is a larger lesson to be learned.

“This incident highlights that violence is possible in our own community and in every community,” said the Moscow PD statement. “We owe it to them, their families, and this community to do all that we can do and do it well.”

The Department of Education collects data on crimes at universities, including BenU and that information is available to the public. The information can be found at the Campus Safety and Security website via this link.

The email from BenU’s Campus Safety listed a number of ways for people to report crimes.

  • Call Campus Safety at 630-829-6122 in Lisle or at 602-888-5516 in Mesa.
  • Utilize the Silent Witness Report anonymous reporting form for Lisle.
  • Utilize the Silent Witness Report anonymous reporting form for Mesa.
  • Report a concern about the well-being of a student, faculty or staff member to the Campus Response Evaluation Team (C.A.R.E.) team by utilizing the following form.

Fariha Ahsan, Leyla Sapic and Jonathan Shields contributed to this story.