Thursday, September 07, 2006

University President Recognizes Robbery Increase

In a Septmeber 5th, 2006 interview with the Minnesota Daily newspaper, University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks discusses crime and safety issues. Although he's vague regarding the university's action plan, it's clear he understands there is a problem with crime on or near campus, particularly with robberies: "Bruininks: More police to patrol campus".

The University president discussed safety concerns and campus initiatives.

By Yelena Kibasova

Last year the University experienced a lot of crime. What is the University doing to ensure student safety?

The safety of our students is a very important priority for the University.
We are adding police officers to increase at least the amount of protection for our own university community, meeting with the Minneapolis police officials and Minneapolis city government officials to determine what we can do to increase the safety of the neighborhoods that surround the University of Minnesota, and, I think, entering into some very serious discussion with community leaders about these issues.

What exactly do you mean?

How the long-range planning of the neighborhood around the University will be developed in a way that will really promote public safety and promote the quality of life that we expect our students to enjoy when they come here to study at the University of Minnesota.

Many metropolitan universities face these challenges and I think the level of safety around the Twin Cities campus is among the highest in the country. But it still is a serious issue when you notice that the statistics regarding robberies … are going up.

That happened last year. We took very special notice and we put a number of actions into place.

I plan to meet with other members of the administration (and) with our students and student leaders over the next several months, because I think they may have some ideas about what we could do to better promote safety. It may have to do with transportation issues, lighting issues; things that we can do to better protect students and student safety after-hours and weekends.
The university, being part of Minneapolis, is also part of the Quagmire.

My questions is: Has president Bruininks had a conversation with Mayor Rybak? Even the perception of serious crime could negatively impact enrollment, and that is just one real-world consequence of crime.

Recent campus crime news: Stadium Village bank robbed on August 30th, 2006