At 3:17 p.m. last Thursday, freshman Alex Schmick posted in the Columbia College Chicago Class of 2021 Facebook group asking, “Hey, anyone wanna hang tonight?” Until then, the page had been filled with mostly gifs and introductory bios. Sources say that Schmick was the first one to publicly ask if anyone wanted to spend time in close physical proximity to each other.
The first responders to the post were horrified students. “The fact that someone would post something so sad where thousands of other people could see is truly disturbing,” said fellow freshman, Linda Garph. “Like, I wish he would’ve reached out to the school’s counselors before posting something like that.”
Several other students were having a difficult time processing the online post and reportedly went home for the weekend after their first week of school.
“Had Alex come to us, we honestly would have had a difficult time finding the appropriate treatment for him,” said Columbia College’s Student Health Services in a statement. “It would have taken a lot of resources and money, and I am not fully sure we are equipped to handle cases such as his.”
A close friend of Schmick’s from high school, John Waters, who also goes to Columbia, reached out to Schmick’s parents after seeing the post. Once Schmick’s parents heard about the event, his whole extended family came up to Chicago as soon as they could.
“We were so worried,” said Bethany Schmick, Alex’s mother. “My little baby boy, just desperately trying to make friends—it broke my heart.”
At press time, his family was stopping him from accessing all social media and technology for the time being.
“The only technology we’re letting Alex use now is the public bus,” Bethany Schmick said.
Soon after Schmick’s haunting cry for attention, it was reported that similar posts in the Class of 2021 group started to pop up.
“I saw some guy ask ‘Who tryna get lit tonight??,’ as if he were really going to find a way to get lit,” said art student, Jonathan Blum. “That’s some scary desperate shit, man.”
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