Sunday, March 19, 2000

Despite slayings, co-op program stays

The Associated Press

        YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio — Despite the slayings in Costa Rica of an Antioch College student and former student, the school plans no major changes in its program that sends many of its students overseas.

        The cooperative-education program has been a hallmark of the small, southwest Ohio college for the past 70 years. Students study on campus for one semester and then work at jobs or on projects anywhere in the United States or the world the alternating semester before returning to school.

        Last week, the bodies of Emily Howell, of Lexington, and Emily Eagen, of Ann Arbor, Mich., were found along a highway near the Costa Rican coast town of Cahuita, about 10 miles northwest of Puerto Viejo. They both had been shot.

        Ms. Howell had been in Costa Rica working on a photography project as part of her Antioch co-op. Ms. Eagen, who had withdrawn from Antioch in August, was visiting Ms. Howell.

        Scott Warren, dean of students, said the slayings devastated students and teachers at the campus. But he said the school does a good job of preparing students for their co-ops and investigating the co-op environments.

        “We don't think anything we could have done in preparation for this particular project could have made any difference, could have prevented a random, isolated tragedy like this,” Mr. Warren said.

        He said two Antioch students are still in Costa Rica and plan to remain there to finish their co-op projects.


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