Sadly, Andrew’s death is not even a meaningful statistic. If deaths of students abroad were statistically meaningful, perhaps Andrew would have known not to venture out into the part of Rome where he and many other American students were possibly assaulted, robbed and tossed off the Tiber Bridge.
A landmark law in Minnesota, Senate File 1975, Thomas Plotkin’s Higher Education Sunshine Law, is working to inform and protect students about dangers abroad.
Tragically, there is no mandated public reporting of illness, injury and death elsewhere. Forum on Education Abroad is building a ‘volunteer’ database – membership required. The Forum often states, “Most of these students come back safe.”
Those words ring hollow if you don’t have meaningful data to back it up. How many is most? For anyone who loves Andrew, or any other student who came back with a coffin instead of a diploma, one death is one death too many.
How many American student deaths and critical injuries have occurred via falls while attending John Cabot University? Only they know. These cases were publicly reported:
Andrew Mogni, University of Iowa
Ricky Demello, St. Thomas University, Minneapolis
John Durkin, Bates College (John’s wallet was reportedly not with him.)
Andrew Carr, Marquette University, Milwaukee
Karen Young, University North Carolina
The notorious murder of British student Meredith Kercher in the famous Amanda Knox‘guilty until proven innocent’ case is assigned to John Cabot, followed by the near fatal stabbing of Fabio Malpeso, 19, from New Jersey. Students and their families are often under-prepared when critical injuries happen on foreign soil.
So many deaths are enough to make anger rise about the danger of studying abroad in Rome, particularly when our scholars are under-informed. John Cabot University could change that with a Clery report, in honor of these seven students who were irreparably harmed in Rome. We want to know, how many others?