CHICAGO (CBS) — Activists pressing the University of Chicago to open a trauma center to treat victims of violence rather than have them taken miles away with potentially deadly consequences are using the University’s alumni weekend to try to make their point.

WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports the activists were joined by alumni in front of the home of University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer.

“I believe that the University of Chicago and President Zimmer need to open a trauma center because it would show that they value black life, the life of the neighborhoods that surround them,” said Alex Goldenberg, a 2006 graduate. “For too long, they have been neglecting the needs of the surrounding community “said Alex Goldenberg.”

Goldenberg presented an oversize check to Veronica Morris-Moore, one of the leaders of the trauma center effort. He says the money would have gone to the university.

“We appreciate the alumni for showing that when people organize and get together and show support, real things can be done. We encourage alumni to continue to rally with us,” said Morris-Moore.

The activists say they have moral support from several physicians at the school.

2010 graduate Duff Morton said, the University of Chicago is supposed to be about changing the world.
He noted the University is situated in the middle of the epidemic of gun violence.

“Now, if our university and our hospital were in the middle of a country that was having a malarial epidemic and our hospital said, ‘we’re sorry, but we don’t want to treat malaria cases because it’s not our academic interest’ that would be a disgrace.

The activists are urging others not to donate to the university as a show of support for a trauma center.

U of C has said that it pulled out of the trauma network in 1988 in order to concentrate resources in clinical specialties where it has the most to offer.

The university is in the middle of a $4.5 billion fundraising campaign and is lobbying for the Obama presidential library.

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