UC Berkeley Responds as Student Among Dead in Attack in Nice - Higher Education

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UC Berkeley Responds as Student Among Dead in Attack in Nice

by Emil Guillermo

UC Berkeley officials confirmed a second UC student studying abroad has died this summer when the body of Nick Leslie, 20, was found three days after a terror-linked truck rampage in Nice, France, according to multiple news reports.

Leslie, 20, a junior attending a summer entrepreneurship and innovation class in Europe, was last seen in the area of the fireworks display in Nice last Thursday, and was still unaccounted for as of early Sunday.

“Campus study abroad, risk services office and student affairs staff are working with fellow students in France, the program director on the ground, local officials, U.S. consular officials and the family to locate him,”  the university said in a news release last week.

Leslie, who lives in Del Mar, Calif., near San Diego, is originally from Milan, Italy. He is a student in UC’s College of Natural Resources.

A relative told the Wall Street Journal that Leslie was seen in the “zone of the accident,” and that a friend saw him running away from the promenade as the terrorist’s truck drove by. “Maybe he is alive, but I don’t know, maybe he is confused,” Fabeo Bottini, Leslie’s uncle told a reporter.

Leslie’s name had not previously appeared on any hospital lists among the deceased, according to reports.

Three students from UC Berkeley also studying in Nice, were also injured, treated and released after the truck attack.

Vladyslav Kostiuk, 23, a senior computer science major, suffered a broken leg. Diane Huang, 20, a senior in environmental economics and policy, broke her foot. A third student , Daryus Medora, 21, a sophomore in the College of Letters and Sciences, remained hospitalized with a broken leg.

In all, 85 students were enrolled in the UC Berkeley program, though many students were from other schools including, UC Merced, UC Davis, James Madison University and the local Peralta Community College District.

The university said the program director, Ken Singer, visited the three students in the hospital.

The university gave students the option to return home. Though three of the injured students have decided to stay, seven are returning. The 15-day entrepreneurship program is part of the international European Innovation Academy, and was scheduled to end July 24.

UC student body president William Morrow posted a picture of Leslie on Facebook.

It is the second time this summer that the campus has been touched by an act of terror.

Less than a month ago, Tarishi Jain, a student on a summer internship in Bangladesh, was one of 20 hostages killed July 1 during a terror attack in an upscale café in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Morrow said increased hours were available for drop-in advising for students needing counseling.

For sure, some deep thinking may be in order at least for university officials forced to seriously consider the safety concerns in a world where terror can strike at any minute.

While the ivory tower shouldn’t cower to terrorists, it is not immune from the scourge of radical politics.

If schools choose to offer these global experiences, they’ll have to figure out how to assure students and their families that programs are not just intellectually enriching, but safe as well.

True, a Saturday night on some campuses can get pretty wild. But it’s a far cry from international terror.

Emil Guillermo is an award-winning journalist and commentator. He writes at http://www.aaldef.org/blog

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