Public Safety Update
February 28, 2014
> About 40 students were on hand Wednesday evening—and many more watched and submitted questions online—at our inaugural Student Safety Town Hall. President Eric Kaler, Vice Provost and Dean of Students Danita Brown Young, MSA President Mike Schmit, and I all answered questions and heard good suggestions from students about how to improve safety on campus and in the neighborhoods surrounding the University. Topics ranged from bus schedules, to more actively engaging off-campus landlords and building owners, to the expected impacts of the Green Line LRT. If you missed it, go to UMConnect to watch a replay of the Town Hall. If you have a suggestion or comment regarding safety, go to the SafeU website and submit your ideas.
> One topic raised through the online suggestion form was the need for personal safety/self-defense workshops for members of the University community. In fact, a variety of workshops have been offered since students returned from Winter Break and they've been so successful and well attended a second round of workshops have been scheduled. The workshops are free and open to students, faculty and staff and are taught by Mary Brandl, instructor and consultant with Minneapolis Community Crime Prevention/SAFE Program, University of Minnesota Physical Education Department. The schedule for the next workshops are
Tuesday, March 4
St. Paul Student Center
Thursday, March 6
St. Paul Student Center
To reserve a space in any of these workshops email email@example.com.
> Earlier today, University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness testified in favor of legislation that would require cellphones sold in Minnesota to include "kill switch" technology that would render them useless if stolen. The bill introduced by Representative Joe Atkins would require new smartphones purchased in Minnesota to have "kill switch" capability, which would mean that all saved data could be erased and the phone disabled if stolen, but could be reactivated with a passcode if recovered by the owner. Chief Hestness testified that the lucrative and easy sale of stolen cell phones was one of the main factors in the spike in robberies on and near campus last fall. The House Labor, Workplace and Labor Industries Committee heard the first testimony on the proposed legislation, and forwarded it on to the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.
> A reminder that LRT trains will be traveling through campus frequently in coming weeks as operator training is underway for METRO Green Line LRT drivers. The training will likely result in increased traffic congestion and delays as train operators and bus drivers begin learning how to share the limited space on Washington Avenue. It also means that pedestrians and bicyclists need to follow some common-sense safety measures to stay safe:
- Always stay off the tracks
- Look both ways for oncoming trains, buses, and bicycles as you enter an intersection
- Cross only at intersections and legal mid-block crosswalks
- Stay off station platforms until service begins in 2014
- Bicyclists are not allowed to turn left to cross the tracks and must use designated Bike Boxes
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.
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.
With many people looking for safety information, we've revamped the University's safety and security website. The information has been updated and the site is much easier to use. It also looks great. Be sure to check it out.
Previous updates can be found on the University Services website.