Danger has never been something to stop journalism major Madelyn Campbell, who this week broke new ground as the first Columbia student ever to step south of the Roosevelt Red Line. Campbell crossed over on Wabash Avenue in order to purchase name-brand snacks from the Jewel Osco after buying produce from Trader Joe’s, fully aware of the dangers of Chicago’s notorious south side.
“Before I left St. Louis, my parents made me promise that I would stay safe in Chicago, but fuck my parents,” Campbell said. “None of my friends will go south of 1104 S. Wabash, but I’m a trailblazer. I’m a pioneer. I’ll go as far south as McCormick Place. I live for the danger.”
Previous feats of daring by Campbell include riding the Red Line after 9 p.m., telling a panhandler to “go away,” and going to Wrigleyville after the Cubs lose.
“Personally, I never go south of Jackson,” said Eilish Conocova, a Columbia animation major and close friend of Campbell. “The other day I took the Red Line all the way up to Fullerton to go to Jewel just because I couldn’t take the risk of crossing Roosevelt. I’ve seen Chiraq—I know what goes on down there.”
And yet, Campbell was undeterred. After dropping her groceries off at home, she proceeded to board the Red Line and go a whole stop south to Chinatown. Then, in an act some students are calling “reckless and foolhardy,” she proceeded to walk home along Michigan Avenue.
“I just can’t believe she would be so bold,” continued Conocova. “I mean, I get an anxiety attack every time I see somebody walk between cars on the train. I have to take a Xanax before I can even think about getting on the bus. I walk with two pepper-sprays and a butterfly knife just to go let the Postmates guy in downstairs. Madelyn is an inspiration, but also a cruel reminder of my own crippling fears.”
Campbell has no plans of slowing down. When asked what her next feat would be, Campbell said, “I want to be the first Columbia student to take a taxi.”
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