Rilyn Eischens


Fulfilling a dream, UMN ice maker heads to Pyeongchang for Olympics

The ice at Ridder Arena was dull and dirty the morning of Jan. 31. Adam Stirn, the University of Minnesota’s lead ice maker, doesn’t like dirt; not in hallways, not on rink boards and especially not on ice. Stirn was preparing to take out the Zamboni – which he calls a “zam” – before the women’s hockey practice, when his coworker stepped off the ice and asked if he was ready for his trip to the Winter Olympics.

Voter turnout for Minneapolis municipal election highest in decades

High voter turnout for the Minneapolis municipal elections Tuesday caused ballot shortages and voting slowdowns at some polling locations.  Turnout reached about 43 percent, the highest rate in two decades, according to the city of Minneapolis. Election workers at some polling places resorted to photocopying blank ballots when they ran out of official documents near poll close.

Police break up West Bank protest of right-wing speaker

Protest, an arrest and fights marked the campus' reaction to right-wing commentator Lauren Southern's talk at the University of Minnesota Wednesday night. A group of nearly 200 demonstrators gathered outside Anderson Hall where around 80 listened to the Canadian YouTube personality give a talk on “the evils and inefficiencies of socialism and the necessity of free speech in political discourse." One person was arrested for disorderly conduct by the end of the event.

UMN task force releases mental health recommendations for faculty

A University of Minnesota task force released a report Thursday with more than 100 recommendations for instructors and administrators to structure their courses to support student mental health. In a 26-page report, the task force outlined suggestions encouraging faculty to pace coursework and interact with students exhibiting signs of mental illness, among other recommendations, in hopes campus-wide changes will follow. Instructors, University officials and students formed the Joint Taskforce on Student Mental Health last year in response to rising concerns around faculty response to student mental health. Still, faculty will require additional training, like workshops, before making adjustments.

New UMN sick policy that eases absence verification delayed until fall

The University of Minnesota’s revised sick note policy — over a year in the making — was implemented then quickly withdrawn earlier this month after negative feedback. Under the policy, which the University Senate Committee on Educational Policy approved in January, instructors can’t require doctors’ notes to excuse single-day medical absences.

Wilson Library renovations at a standstill unless UMN gets state funding

The Wilson Library renovations will be at a standstill unless the University of Minnesota receives project funding from the State Legislature this year. The University requested $4 million from the state for the design phase of the Collections and Contemporary Learning project, which includes library improvements.

Bill at MN Senate barring anti-Israel contractors draws unease

A controversial bill moving through the Minnesota Legislature would prohibit state agencies from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. Authors of the bill, which awaits a Senate vote after the House passed it in February, say it aims to prevent discrimination, but First Amendment advocates have raised concerns that it might limit speech rights.