Jacob E. Jurinek

SIU student Jacob Jurinek, 20

CARBONDALE, IL — Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has canceled classes for Friday, Nov. 12, as the community continues to mourn the loss of a student killed at the Astroworld Festival in Houston on Friday. 

SIUC student Jacob Jurinek was a 20-year-old junior studying journalism at the university. The Naperville, Illinois, native and his childhood friend, 21-year-old Franco Patino, were among eight people killed because of a crowd surge at the Travis Scott concert in Houston. 

More than 300 people gathered for a vigil in Jurinek's honor Monday night at SIU's Faner Plaza. 

MORE DETAILS: Students and faculty remember SIU student who died at Astroworld Festival

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In a letter to students and employees Tuesday, Chancellor Austin A. Lane announced that classes will be canceled Friday, with the exception of classes in the SIU School of Medicine. However, the campus will be open on Friday as the university holds a Salukis Care Day. The day will include a variety of activities centered on self-care. 

SIU has experienced multiple losses over the past several weeks.

"Sadly – and unbelievably – this was the third such loss for our campus community in the last 12 weeks," Lane writes. 

Freshman Keeshanna Jackson was shot and killed at an off-campus party in August. Aviation student Joseph Ermel was killed in a motorcycle crash on Oct. 27. May 2021 graduate Dominik Faciano died in a plane crash in Wisconsin in September. 

"Additionally, as we’re still reeling from senseless acts of off-campus violence that are being investigated and that injured and affected additional students, we are mindful of the significant impact loss, grief and anxiety can have on an individual and a community," Lane writes. 

On Oct. 23, two SIU students were shot at a house party in the 700 block of West College Street in Carbondale. A GoFundMe page for one of the injured students, Michelle Dietzel, has raised more than $5,000. In a news release sent the day of the shooting, the Carbondale Police Department said the suspect in that shooting is believed to be 15 to 17 years old. 

"Our students need an opportunity to pause to reflect on this combined loss," Lane writes. "They need to take time for themselves and to check in on the well-being of their friends and family."

In addition to the Salukis Care activities planned for Friday, Lane's letter says students are encouraged to utilize the university's counseling services program in the SIU Student Health Center, and faculty and staff are encouraged to access the school's Employee Assistance Program. 

Read Lane's letter in full: 

Dear Saluki family:

Last night the Saluki community gathered yet again this semester to reflect on a life taken too soon. We cried. We laughed. We celebrated a student’s impact on our campus.

Sadly – and unbelievably – this was the third such loss for our campus community in the last 12 weeks. Additionally, as we’re still reeling from senseless acts of off-campus violence that are being investigated and that injured and affected additional students, we are mindful of the significant impact loss, grief and anxiety can have on an individual and a community.

Our students need an opportunity to pause to reflect on this combined loss. They need to take time for themselves and to check in on the well-being of their friends and family.

To that end, SIU Carbondale is canceling classes on Friday, November 12 (with the exception of the classes in the School of Medicine). Campus will be open for business, and we encourage both students and employees to participate in the Salukis Care activities planned for that day. SIU is also fortunate to have an outstanding Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) program in the SIU Student Health Center that is available to our student body. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for faculty and staff.

As we navigate the losses of this semester and turn toward finishing classes, taking finals and gathering for the holidays, we know that stress levels for students can mount high. Take this Friday as a day of rest – an opportunity to reset your mind and your spirit. Do something that helps you relax and take a breath to prepare for the next few weeks so that you can come back well prepared for the rest of the fall semester and the spring semester. In doing so, know that your Saluki community is here to support you. We encourage students to reach out to a mentor such as a faculty or staff member or a fellow student. We are all here for each other.

I want to close by remembering each student by name whom we have lost this semester and invite you to take a moment of silence to reflect on their lives. Many of you knew at least one of them, and some didn’t know any of them. Regardless, they were and will remain part of the Saluki family.

• Keeshanna Jackson

• Joseph Ermel

• Jacob Jurinek

• Dominik Faciano (May 2021 graduate)

I encourage you to take time this Friday to practice self-care and to look out for the well-being of a friend at the same time. Salukis care.

Austin A. Lane

Chancellor