We have reached our breaking point. The amount of crime present on campus and in the student-populated surrounding neighborhoods is absolutely unacceptable. It has taken an unbelievably detrimental toll on our lives. Safety must be a priority for the University, and steps must be taken immediately to fix this issue.
First and foremost, we are here to get an education. The recent crime incidents have interfered with our ability to learn: we are not able to go to libraries to study at night because we are afraid to walk home afterwards. We are hesitant to go to night classes for the same reason. We feel imprisoned in our own homes for fear of what could happen to us if we leave. Nowhere feels safe anymore.
These crimes have happened in well-lit and populated areas, and they have happened during the day. Our friend was threatened with a gun and mugged this weekend. A house one block from campus was broken into by masked men with knives. Our classes went on lock down because of an armed man that was never caught or identified. Just this evening our friend tried to help an injured man lying outside a University building who ultimately sprung up and attempted to abduct her. These examples only scratch the surface of the recent events that have occurred on our campus.
As these incidents unfold, it appears as though the University is doing nothing but sending out crime alerts that remind us to stay in groups and not listen to music as we walk at night. This is not enough. Calling 624-WALK isn't enough. We as students are doing everything we can to be safe, yet we are still at risk.
We are demanding an increase in police presence both on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods to combat this crime. Our campus is a part of the city of Minneapolis, and it is absolutely imperative that the two police forces collaborate to reach the common goal of increasing campus safety.
If steps are not taken immediately, we, the students, will take matters into our own hands. Many of us are applying to transfer because we cannot tolerate feeling so unsafe and vulnerable. As graduates of Minnesota public school systems that send dozens of high school graduates to the University of Minnesota each year, we will go out of our way to reach out to our communities and urge students not to apply here. We will present the signatures on this petition to the media and inform them of the recurring issues. Bad publicity is certainly not something the University needs at this time.
The crime on campus has gotten out of hand, and it needs to be stopped before it gets any worse. We can’t go on living our lives in fear any longer. If what has already happened isn’t enough of a catalyst for change, what is it going to take?
We are not alone in this fight for increased police presence and campus safety. The following individuals agree with our statement:
"As a result of increased crime, I recognize the immediate need for additional police presence on the University of Minnesota campus and the surrounding neighborhoods."