Monday, October 13, 2008

ELS student goes missing, DU students remain out of the loop

Last Tuesday, ELS student Trang Nguyen went missing. By the end of the week, River Forest Police guessed that there was no foul play involved, and Dominican did not notify the student body.

On Sunday, ABC covered the story:

Trang Nguyen, 20, has only been in this country since August 31st. She from Vietnam and speaks very little English.
Nguyen is taking an English study program that meets at Dominican University. She stays in housing at Concordia University.
The missing woman was last seen Tuesday when she told some classmates she needed to go get something from her dorm room, but she hasn't been seen since. Her friends and relatives are handing out fliers with her photo hoping someone will recognize her.
"We're just completely flabbergasted as to what's happened to her. we're really worried for her safety," said Andre Elstrom, cousin.
She was last seen wearing a gray zip up jacket, jeans and black shoes, carrying a pink bag. Anyone with information on her disappearance is urged to call the River Forest police.


As you can see, the article above is very open ended. Many parents saw this story and when they called their sons and daughters about it, the Dominican students knew nothing. A few of my friends asked their RA's and their RA's knew nothing. The Dominican administration made absolutely no effort, at first, to let the student body know what was going on. Because of this, rumors were everywhere, everyone was scared, nothing was confirmed and no one quite knew what was going on. Shame on you, Dominican administration.

Finally, today an e-mail was sent out to the Dominican faculty and student body titled "Update on Missing Girl". First of all, it isn't an update if they haven't addressed it before.

The e-mail went on to say, "The ELS program has a long-standing contractual agreement to rent office and classroom space at the university’s Priory Campus. Ms. Nguyen is not a student at Dominican University or Concordia University."

For a school that is constantly patting itself on the back for being 'community based', I'm just not feeling that type of warmth with this issue.

"I may not have known this girl," said junior Griselda Feliciano, "but she is still apart of my community, even if she wasn't a Dominican student. If a Concordia or Trinity student went missing, I would want to know that too. We are all in the same community."

It's a shame the administrators don't seem to feel the same way.

"I am really upset about the way our school handled this issue," continued Griselda. "There may not be a cause for concern, but because there is a slight chance that this is indeed a safety issue, we deserve to know."

Griselda went on to talk about how she works at the front desk and how many students go on runs and leave their keys and IDs at the front desk. She voiced her concern for these students...is it best to be out at 4 a.m. with no identification?
"People don't think to be smart because they feel safe here," she said. "Because this might have been a safety issue, even a 'hey-we-care-about-you-so-be-careful" e-mail would have been nice."

"Besides," she added, "It was on the news. People are obviously going to find out. We should not have been the last ones to know about this."

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