Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Concert Chorale Rallies Behind Injured Students

Leaving Concert Chorale Rehearsal at shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, two students, first-year student Ericka Contreras and first-year Tyler Joy, were struck by a car while in one of the several student crosswalks on 7th avenue.
According to Sonja Hurty, director of the Augustana Concert Chorale, who has been in touch with both of her chorale members, both went in for surgery this past week.
However, remaining in touch with their director hasn’t only meant the exchange of information, it’s meant some activity in the chorale itself to support the injured students as well. In rehearsal on Monday, Jan. 23, the entire Concert Chorale signed cards and wrote individualized get well notes to the injured members.
The chorale continues to show support to its students, as plans for further projects to remind the students that the chorale is thinking about them in this difficult time are being prepared.
“We are also talking about shooting a video maybe, or sending them a recording of the concert coming up,” first-year and Concert Chorale member Colleen Johnson said. The video could include encouraging words set to a familiar melody, or possibly just a recording of some words from members of the group.
Along with the cards and well-wishes, the chorale also sent the students some Amazon gift cards, with the stipulation that they be used to buy whatever music, books, or entertainment is needed to make the recovery process as peaceful as possible.
As far as the recovery process goes, according to Johnson, Contreras is currently resting at home after her successful surgery, with the possibility of Contreras back on campus in around a month. Less specifics are known about Joy’s current situation and projected timeline to return, although it is known that both are stable and recovering.
Student and faculty attitudes clearly differ wildly when it comes to the crossing of 7th avenue. The crosswalks clearly mark out a place where drivers are supposed to pay extra attention and be ready to stop. However, those spoken with agree that caution is the best way to stay safe when crossing.
“I even like to try and make eye contact with the driver stopping,” Hurty said. “Just to make sure that we’re on the same page.”
The school is also making efforts, in conjunction with the city of Rock Island, to improve the safety of the 7th avenue. crosswalks.
“The college is in the process of talking with the city about potential pedestrian crossing enhancements along 7th avenue. We don’t yet have any specific recommendations or plans, but we hope to work with the city in this effort.” Sam Schlouch, Senior Communication Director at Augustana said in an email.
These plans will develop as the year continues.
Students are glad the school is showing a proper response to the incident and an effort to increase safety for all pedestrians of the street crosswalks.
“I’m definitely glad that they’re planning on doing something.” said Johnson. “That intersection is treacherous, I know I’ve definitely had a few awkward moments with vehicles, not knowing whether they’re going to stop or not. I’m glad that maybe some good will come out of what happened.”

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Concert Chorale Rallies Behind Injured Students