Wearing out a welcome by attacking trees

Students should work with permanent residents instead of against them.

The recent attacks on trees in the Dinkytown area are a true loss for all people in the University community. Whether you are a student or longtime resident, these incidents do not promote a unified, committed neighborhood.

The first group losing out consists of those who put the time and effort into planting the trees as part of a larger neighborhood beautification project, the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Some of our neighbors in Marcy-Holmes have donated countless hours, time and money to plant trees only to wake up to limbs and trunks that have been destroyed by students coming home from the bars.

Students also are losing out. Engaging in these stupid acts of destruction only brings the negative characterization that students are nothing more than a bunch of drunken idiots.

On one side we have a committed group of residents who care to plant trees in hopes of making Marcy-Holmes a nicer and friendlier neighborhood. On the other hand are the students being immature and reckless by tearing down and destroying these trees. This creates anger and resentment between students and permanent residents, when instead both sides should be coming together to solve larger and more pressing issues.

In reality, our community needs to learn to work together to solve the increasing problem of crime. According to a recent report, Minneapolis’ crime rate rose 15 percent in 2005. This is six times the national average increase. Most of these crimes are assaults, burglaries and robberies. These crimes have been major issues across campus for the past year. How many countless stories have we heard regarding a student or residence being affected by one of these terrible acts? This should be an issue everyone works to solve as a cohesive neighborhood.

The first step is to stop this senseless destruction of trees. We need to act mature and responsible for the greater purpose of a safer community. We need to respond to the encouragement from our permanent neighbors to engage in the neighborhood and work with them instead of against them. Here, students and permanent residents can find common ground to ensure a safer and more enjoyable neighborhood for all.

Matt Hill is the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood student liaison. Please send comments to [email protected]