SAU Buzz

St. Ambrose in the wake of Mollie Tibbetts

by Miranda Liebsack
Posted on Sep 20, 2018

On the morning of August 21, Molly Tibbetts’ body was found in a corn field in Poweshiek County, Iowa. Tibbetts was last seen jogging in Brooklyn, Iowa on July 18, around 7:30 p.m. according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety's Division.

CNN interviewed investigators and determined that Tibbetts was most likely abducted while she was out for her run. She was reported missing when stopped responding to messages from her boyfriend, Dalton Jack, and failed to show up for work, according to Fox News.

As of now, Christhian Bahena Rivera, an undocumented immigrant, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder. Police told CBS News that Rivera had followed and confronted Tibbetts while she was out for a run on July 18, and later stabbed her to death. As of now, Rivera is awaiting trial with his bond set at $5 million.

According to CBS News, the federal government has filed an immigration detainer, which means he would be subject to deportation proceedings if acquitted.

Molly Tibbetts was a 20 year old studying psychology at the University of Iowa. She would have started her junior year of college this year.

One day after Tibbetts’ body was found, St. Ambrose Unviversity began daytime classes.

About 2,000 undergraduate students flooded the campus as the 2018-2019 school year began, and within the wake of the tragic death of Molly Tibbetts, St. Ambrose students have been taking precautions.     

“I do get nervous walking by myself at night; I usually have a guy friend of mine walk with me, even on campus,” Jenny Hillier, a first year occupational therapy major said. .

St. Ambrose does have a 24-hour escort service, this includes a lift to zone three parking. There is also access to Blue cap lights across campus and at the Health Science Building. Using these phones will connect the user with the 24/7 security desk and strobe light activates on top of the phone, directing attention to the caller, according to the safety page on the St. Ambrose website.  

Nancy Hines also urged students to use the buddy system. Hines sent out an email on August 24, that contained prevention strategies. She reminded students to lock their dorm rooms and their cars. Hines also talked about campus security and the escorts they offer 24/7.  

While there is a concern for safety among many students, there are also students who do feel safe on campus.

“I think Ambrose does a good job keeping us safe. I always see security walking around campus or driving around campus,” Zoe Walrath, a first year student said.

The St. Ambrose Website page for Safety also gives helpful tips to students on how to stay safe both on and off campus; be aware of your surroundings and try to avoid potentially dangerous situations and potentially dangerous people.

The page also reminds students to trust their instincts, if they notice any suspicious activities or suspicious people they urge students to report it by calling the security staff.