With most attention on the University of Minnesota area’s recent increase in violent crime focused on Minneapolis neighborhoods, students on the St. Paul campus are looking to get more involved in safety talks. Though the area around the Minneapolis campus has seen more crime this fall, some students say St. Paul is often left out of campus-wide discussions, and they’re looking to be more active with safety initiatives for the smaller campus.
In nearly four years at the University of Minnesota, neuroscience senior Eza Kadir has never traveled home over winter break. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a plane ticket and at least a day in transit to return to her native Malaysia, Kadir said she’s used the break to visit Michigan, Chicago and New York. Like Kadir, some of the University’s international students choose not to return home over winter break after weighing travel costs against the limited amount of time they’d be home and opportunities to travel the U.S. or work on campus.
University of Minnesota students are turning to their student groups to start discussions about safety after the recent bout of campus crime. Students are tackling these discussions in ways that fit their groups’ communities — from advising on how to stay safe during commutes to planning self-defense workshops. One group is concerned the crime alerts sent to the University community after certain incidents might not accurately depict sexual violence.
Freshman Thuylinh Vuong spends an hour on the bus to get to the University of Minnesota every day. Then she spends an hour getting back. Vuong, who’s studying nursing, said commuting has improved her organizational skills but also presents some challenges. “Considering you’re in college and not really knowing where you can go or who you can talk to is kind of tough,” she said.
University of Minnesota students and alumni joined eight other Minnesota colleges and more than 75 schools nationwide Friday in a day of fasting to raise awareness about climate change in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The typhoon, which hit the Philippines on Nov. 8 and is known as Yolanda there, spurred an international protest headed by Philippines climate change commissioner Naderev SaÃ±o. He announced Nov. 11 during United Nations climate talks in Warsaw that he would fast until a “meaningful outcome is in sight.”
A University of Minnesota student was assaulted and robbed Wednesday night while walking home in Stadium Village, according to a Minneapolis police report. University Police Chief Greg Hestness sent a crime alert to students, faculty and staff on Thursday. It is the ninth alert sent so far this semester, documenting 14 violent crimes. The student was walking near Essex and Ontario Streets Southeast around 9 p.m. when a man approached and punched the student in the face, knocking him unconscious and stealing his backpack, laptop and wallet, according to the report.
After losing office space in Coffman Union’s second floor redesign earlier this year, 17 student groups have settled into new meeting spots and routines. For some groups, losing space has caused storage issues and difficulty reaching out to students. Though they no longer hold permanent space in Coffman, many groups are still there vying for multi-use space or paying for rooms. The African Student Association used that space to hold office hours, store supplies and connect with students who had questions about the group.
After Typhoon Haiyan killed and displaced thousands when it struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, some student groups are jumping to help by raising money for relief. The University of Minnesota’s Philippine Student Association is involved with a number of fundraisers to help alleviate typhoon victims, and the Vietnamese Student Association is also helping the relief effort by supporting PSA’s work and raising money at its own events.
Despite a recent push from scientists to create safer nuclear power, some University of Minnesota students, alumni and environmental groups don’t think it’s worth the time and money. Four top climate scientists wrote letters earlier this month urging environmental groups and policy leaders to support development of safer nuclear energy to cut fossil fuel emissions, the Associated Press reported. But some locals disagree, saying priority should be given to renewable energy development.
Jean Chapdelaine left college in the late 1990s because she had to work. She’s been working constantly since, even after re-enrolling at the University of Minnesota 16 years later so she could move to the executive level at her workplace. Students who choose to go back to college after years in the workforce often balance full-time jobs, parenting or other obligations with their class schedule. And it can be difficult to navigate resources when deciding whether to re-enroll, according to a national report released this month.
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