A student was recently attacked near an alley not far from the campus of Loyola University, but the crime has upset some because they say the university never told them it happened. That student talked exclusively with NBC 5 on Thursday.
Chicago police said the attack and robbery happened back on Sept. 17 in the 6300 block of Lakewood Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. The victim was heading home, police said, when three men approached, hit her, knocked her to the ground and then ran off with all of her belongings.
The Loyola senior, who only wanted to be identified as Lizzie, told NBC 5 her life changed after the terrifying attack when she was walking after a late night out with a friend.
“I don’t really walk much, alone, or at night or anything,” she said. “(I feel) really nervous, and like really paranoid now, about walking around even during the daytime.”
She said she couldn't remember much about the attack because she was in shock. She said there was lucky there was a witness.
“What they said is, there was two men that approached me at my door,” she said. "We went into this alley and then about 20 seconds later they came running out."
She later had cuts, bruises and a "gash" on her head, she said.
Lizzie said she hopes Loyola, which only sends out safety alerts to students if an incident occurrs within a certain geographic area, will take a different stance.
“I hope that, obviously, maybe Loyola will take a different stance on what they report and what they don’t report,” she said. “Maybe letting the students know what’s going on around campus, having students be aware so that nothing bad like this happens to any other students—and maybe there could be a positive outcome.”
Other students in the community reacted to the violent incident.
“It’s horrible," Loyola student Ally Runnion said. "It’s also not surprising because you here about this stuff all the time."
The campus newspaper, the Loyola Phoenix, wrote about the attack and the fact that the university never informed any of the student body that it happened.
"It isn’t the job of the students to scrutinize police records, attend community meetings and hunt down information for their own safety while at the same time attend class, study, participate in extracurriculars and prepare for life after graduation," a recent editorial in the paper reads.
Loyola officials say they did nothing wrong by not reporting the attack to the campus community, and they stand by their decision.
"Alerts are sent based on geography and ongoing threat," Loyola officials said in an emailed statement. "If the situation meets that criteria, then the process for issuing an alert would start."
They said the crime happened outside of that geographic area, which did not require them to report it.
Runnion did the graphics for the Phoenix article. She says underreporting crimes by the university has been going for years.
“It’s not only people in the journalism community," she said. "Girls in my sorority are furious and want to start petitions to hold campus safety accountable.”