Nearly three years after his death, the family of deceased University of Wisconsin sophomore Beau Solomon reached a settlement with John Cabot University Monday.
Solomon was killed in July 2016 while he was studying at JCU, located in Rome, Italy, for the summer. Authorities discovered his body in the Tiber River, near the JCU campus.
Solomon’s parents filed a lawsuit against JCU in 2017 for failing to communicate to Solomon or UW that four students had died on the campus between 2014-2015. Two of those deaths were American college students.
A year before Solomon died, the University of Iowa ended its study abroad partnership with JCU after student Andrew Mogni fell to his death in the same river.
According to UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone, UW changed its Rome study abroad program in 2018. Instead of working with JCU, they now use the Council on International Educational Exchange Open Campus Center, which also allows students to travel to places like Paris or Berlin.
According to McGlone, the new partner is safer, more affordable and more flexible. In a statement to WKOW News, McGlone said safety is a top priority for UW’s study abroad programs.
“While all risks cannot be eliminated, UW-Madison takes numerous steps to ensure that our programs operate in safe environments,” McGlone said in the statement.
McGlone said UW provides a wealth of resources, as well as online and in person orientations, for students getting ready to go abroad and their families. McGlone said that students generally report feeling safe and prepared for their experience.
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McGlone also stressed the importance of study abroad as part of a college education, and the role of UW programs in administering these experiences.
“We continue to believe that the overwhelmingly positive educational experiences provided by study abroad programs are an important part of a college education,” McGlone said in the statement. “We also believe that we’re applying the right resources and working together with public agencies to mitigate risks to our students abroad.”