The MacEwan University student missing in Nice, France after a person driving a truck killed 84 people has been identified.
Twenty-two-year-old Mykhaylo “Misha” Bazelevskyy has been missing since the attack, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.
He was one of five (along with a faculty member) in Nice for a three-week program abroad focusing on developing start-ups.
MacEwan University released a statement earlier today, saying they are “working through the Government of Canada to get further details of his status.”
“There is nothing worse than the possibility you might lose a student,” MacEwan president David Atkinson said at a press conference earlier today, “because all of the future and all of the promise that goes with that is no longer there.”
Bazelevskyy a ‘super nice guy’
Cameron McCoy was the president of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University (SAMU) when Bazelevskyy was a councillor.
“He was always a super nice guy,” McCoy says of Bazelevskyy’s time as a councillor. He sat on council, was a cross-country runner with the MacEwan Griffins, and is continuously involved on campus with clubs and athletic events.
“He is always onto something new — it’s kind of crazy,” McCoy says.
“Him going to Nice is an example of him taking [advantage of] the opportunities he had.”
When the SAMU executive heard the news, they were just as bewildered as other friends and family members.
“Our hearts sunk. It really disturbed us,” vice-president of student life at SAMU Jason Garcia says.
“His face is engrained in my mind.”
“You don’t know how to react,” said Danika McConnell, the president of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University.
“You can’t help but be shocked.”
Details are still sparse at this time, as the government and the university continue to work together to find Bazelevskyy. He holds a Ukrainian passport, and friends who know him say he is an adventurous type who may have known his way around Europe.
McConnell says this incident, regardless of the outcome, may affect future trips to Europe and other countries, amid more frequent attacks in recent weeks. However, she was quick to point out that MacEwan does its due diligence before sending students anywhere.
“MacEwan makes sure that, before every trip, everything is done with safety [as a priority],” she says.
“When you travel abroad, there’s so much benefit. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that adds value to your degree,” Garcia adds.
Regardless, McConnell says all the university is focused on right now is finding Bazelevskyy. McConnell says there are resources available to students should they need them, including the Wellness and Psychological Services, available at both the City Centre and Centre for the Arts campuses during regular business hours. Garcia says the university has made room for more appointments next week, should students need them.
For after business hours, McConnell says her and her executive team are always reachable by email (you can find those emails here).
Meantime, the SAMU executive team and the rest of his friends and family are hoping for the best.
“There isn’t anyone that has a more gentle spirit,” McCoy says.
“He doesn’t deserve any of this.”
**An earlier version of this story said Peer Support was available during the summer months to students. This is not the case – but students needing the service can visit the SAMU office and ask to speak to an executive, if necessary.