The recent wave of crime that we have experienced on our metro campuses over the past few months is not a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, our metro higher education institutions have had to deal with this issue for years. Evil-doers prey on our students. They recognize that students on campus are often unsuspecting and more often than not, carry expensive items such as laptops and iphones.
What is new however, and deeply disturbing, is the boldness with which criminals are carrying out these acts. An armed robbery in Anderson Hall, attempted kidnappings, and even rape, these acts are horrendous, unconscionable, and must be addressed. Our students should have no doubt about their safety when walking to and from class.
We want students and parents to be aware of the safety measures that our law enforcement agencies are taking to keep them safe. These are our experts in the field and they work tirelessly every day to protect our students. In turn, we want law enforcement to hear from our students about their perception of these crimes and how it disrupts what should be a safe learning environment. We also want different agencies to share best practices with one another. Certain campuses have been very successful in combating crime. Why is this? What is working? What isn’t?
This page is not here to instill fear; rather, it is here to combat it. We are here because we are a community and we have a moral obligation to keep each other safe. Students, this means you must take responsibility for yourself and your friends during the weekend. Law enforcement officials, this means you must encourage collaboration amongst one another and set aside any arbitrary turf battles for the sake of our students.
No one single person or group is to blame for the crime that we have seen, but we all have a responsibility to address it. If we are going to successfully combat this issue, we must be united in our efforts. We must recognize that our mission is the same and we must learn and work with one another in order to overcome.
Minnesota is a national leader in education. We have incredibly bright students and well run institutions that produce one of the strongest workforces in the world. We will not let crime disrupt this tradition. Together, as a united front, we will prevail.
I’d like to hear from you – students, parents, faculty, law enforcement, and all others.
What is your experience? What ideas do you have that would help make our students safer on Minnesota’s Metro area campuses?
This video gives a good overview of the Metro Campus Safety Hearing held on December 10, 2013. Thank you to all for joining this important conversation.