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Public Safety Update

April 18, 2014

> Throughout the week, I've spoken to dozens of people about the events in Dinkytown last weekend, and every one of them has a different perspective on what went on.

Depending on who you talk to:

  • The police response was too large, too small, or just right.
  • The blames lies with students, the police, the media, or the University administration.
  • The entire event was an embarrassment, something to expect, or no big deal.

The two things everyone seems to agree on are that the win over North Dakota was a remarkable finish, and that while the Championship Game loss was disappointing it doesn't overshadow a great season by the Gophers.

From my perspective, the bottom line is this: after two nights of rowdiness and police intervention, only a handful of minor injuries were reported and property damage was minimal. UMPD Chief Greg Hestness likes to say there are two types of Police preparation: too little and too much. He and I agree that being over-prepared is far more desirable.

I also believe there is a fine line between a raucous gathering of hockey fans and a riot. The tricky part for police is recognizing when that line is about to be crossed and acting appropriately. The fact that no one was seriously hurt and there was limited property damage in Dinkytown tells me that police did a good job of keeping events from moving into violent or destructive behavior.

While the events may have tarnished the University's reputation a bit, I like to think that as an institution of higher education there are lessons to be learned. We'll certainly review our public safety planning and preparation, and the University will be looking at options that would give students a chance to gather, celebrate and be part of a championship game experience on campus as opposed standing on the streets of Dinkytown. Students—what are your thoughts on this? You can reach me at

> The Green Line Light Rail Transit line is just under two months from its June 14 opening date, and we know there are issues still to be resolved. Problems like slippery surfaces, gate arms that won't go up, and pedestrian crossing signals that take a ridiculously long time to change are all punch list items that need to be corrected. Met Transit crews continue to test all of the systems related to the operation of the line and over the next two months, they hope to iron out the wrinkles that have become obvious on and around campus. University staff is in daily contact with Metro Transit checking on the status of the punch list items.

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.