Students and parents at the University of Chicago are expressing concerns and calling for change after a student was shot and killed while riding on a CTA Green Line train earlier this month.
“It’s ridiculous, because he was simply taking a train back from work,” one student said.
Max Lewis, a double major in economics and computer science, was riding a Green Line train home from an internship in downtown Chicago on July 1 when he was hit in the neck by a stray bullet, according to Chicago police. He died a few days later, and now a group of students and parents is pushing for change to keep U of C students safe. One of the proposals involves having a dedicated shuttle service for interning students.
“It would service a couple of key locations 3-to-4 times a day,” Zack Cogan, a classmate of Lewis’ that’s pushing for the shuttle, said.
Some parents are joining in that push.
“Only the university knows how much money is in their endowment and how much they can afford,” Lauren Miller-Cogan said. “I know what I pay for tuition.”
The CTA says that the shooting of Lewis was “undeniably tragic,” and says that it is constantly working to keep riders safe. The authority also pointed out that the fatal bullet was fired from far outside of its property, and at ground level.
“The CTA was not in any way involved in the circumstances leading up to the random gunfire,” a spokesperson said. “Overall, crime on the CTA is very low, and is down more than 40% this year, and we continue to pursue strategies to reduce that number even further.”
The university says it is exploring all options to keep its students safe.
“These were the first such cases involving our students in more than a decade,” the school said in a statement. “We are taking them very seriously, and are actively exploring additional opportunities and programs to help keep our community safe.”
The school says it offers a shuttle to the South Loop during the school year, and also operates its own police department to keep students safe.
“The University of Chicago has taken steps to ensure that UCPD’s day-to-day activities are transparent and clear, going beyond what Illinois requires of police departments at private institutions,” the school said.
No suspects have been arrested in Lewis’ death.