University-area safety is inadequate

The University is poorly lit, lacks enough emergency phones and summer poses big problems.

As summer approaches, more students are drawn to bars in Stadium Village and Dinkytown. The Minneapolis Police Department and University security must step up efforts to protect students in their own neighborhoods. The University boasts a partially wooded campus and miles of riverside trails, but those same areas leave students extremely vulnerable to violence and robbery. University students, and women in particular, are prime targets for attack.

The University Police Department and University Housing and Residential Life officials routinely fail to provide comprehensive responses to area incidents. Last week, a group of men were involved in a stabbing just outside of University Village. One of the stabbing victims was dragged into the building’s lobby and numerous students saw the crime. Despite the seriousness of the incident, no one at the University has made a public comment, nor has the event hit the University police or University parents’ Web sites.

Students and parents have a right to timely, relevant reports that address crime prevention on campus. As the seasons change, so do safety issues. How will metro-area and campus police address this summer’s potential dangers? The University is poorly lit, lacks enough emergency phones and is saddled between a river and high-crime, low-income neighborhoods.

Alcohol makes students increasingly vulnerable to strangers and foul play. Students will soon flock to the patio at Sally’s Saloon and Eatery and the community must be prepared to address the problems of summer. Students have a responsibility to their communities to stay informed, demand protection and make efforts to protect themselves.