In mid-June, welcoming several hundred new University of Illinois students and their parents in Beijing and Shanghai, Julie Misa heard a fair amount of questions like:
— What measures are in place at my daughter’s residence hall to prevent just anyone from coming inside?
— My son is planning to live at an apartment complex this year; what can you tell me about safety there?
It’s not unusual for safety to come up at the annual in-country orientation sessions for international students, or at any meetings with incoming students and parents, said Misa, executive director of Illinois International.
But this year’s sessions took place during the highly publicized search back in Champaign-Urbana for a Chinese scholar, Yingying Zhang, who had gone missing June 9. A former UI graduate student was later charged with her kidnapping and Ms. Zhang is presumed dead. Her body has yet to be found.
“People were quite aware of what was going on at that time with Yingying,” Misa said.
Misa and other…