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Public Safety Update

October 10, 2014

> We've received a few questions since the beginning of fall semester about the University's Building Access Program. As a reminder; the Building Access Program is in place to improve the security of our facilities and their occupants while maintaining appropriate access for the public, students, staff and faculty.

During typical business hours, most campus buildings are open to both the University community and the general public. Outside of those hours, students, faculty and staff must use their U Card for building access, so be sure to carry your U Card with you. During hours when the building is not also open to the public, only people who logically need to enter a building—for example faculty who teach there or students registered for a class in the building—will have access to the building.

Building hours are different depending on the use of the building, and hours were determined in consultation with representatives of colleges and departments. The complete schedule for Building Access Hours can be found here. The next step will be to better secure campus tunnels and skyways and we will continue to work with representatives of our academic and support units to balance the interests of the use of a particular building give the reality that the connections through buildings are also important pathways through the campus. I'll be sure to keep the campus community informed of the progress of the Program.

> Last week, University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness came to me with the recommendation that the UMPD return the six M16 and two M14 rifles acquired eight years ago as part of the Department of Defense's 1033 Program.  Even though the rifles have only been used on the practice range and have never been deployed, it's clear that their presence on campus is divisive and distracts from the outstanding work being done by the officers of the UMPD.

While the rifles have been useful for training purposes, they are severely outdated and would only be used in worst-case scenarios such as an active shooter on campus. Chief Hestness has assured me that despite the loss of the training weapons, the UMPD will still be equipped, trained, and prepared to protect the University community.

The Chief has signed the necessary paperwork to return the rifles to the US Army's Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois. They will be shipped as soon as the paperwork is approved by the Department of Defense.

> Governor Mark Dayton reviewed Minnesota's Ebola preparedness measures with top cabinet officials Thursday, even though state health officials believe the risk of cases here is fairly low. After the meeting, the Governor reported that "everything humanly possible is being done," and that the state's public health system is ready with safety measures to halt the virus if it should come to that.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said in a Star Tribune article that Minnesota is in a stronger position than other states to confront an outbreak. Close to home, the University's Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response has established an advisory group that meets on an ad hoc basis and is closely monitoring a variety of national and international information sources. The group will advise the University about communication needs and possible interventions should they become necessary.

For more information and a list of resources on the Ebola virus, visit the University's Safe U website.


This message was approved by the Vice President for University Services of the University of Minnesota and sent to all Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff.

Visit the safety pages at the METRO Green Line website for more information on LRT safety, how to use bike boxes, and other safety messages.

For more safety and security information,  see the University's SafeU website.

Previous updates can be found on the University Services website.