UMPD connects with Korean students

The University’s Korean International Student Organization will meet with University police once per year.

Korean Student Organization President Youngran Jung (left) engages in discussion Monday night in Moos Tower. This Fall, UMPD officer Sam Schooler was appointed as a liaison for Korean students, serving as a direct contact for helping them navigate the U.S. legal system as well as communicating safety messages.

Sam Harper

Korean Student Organization President Youngran Jung (left) engages in discussion Monday night in Moos Tower. This Fall, UMPD officer Sam Schooler was appointed as a liaison for Korean students, serving as a direct contact for helping them navigate the U.S. legal system as well as communicating safety messages.

Rilyn Eischens

A new partnership between the University of Minnesota Police Department and Korean international students at the University could increase the students’ access to information about safety on campus and the U.S. legal system. 
 
A UMPD liaison appointed late last month will oversee the collaboration, which is part of a Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago program across Midwestern Big Ten schools. Some Korean students say they’re excited about the new relationship.
 
UMPD Chief Matt Clark said the program — which is designed to protect Korean international students and individuals living in the Midwest — began after Jun Lee, the Korean consul in charge of legal affairs at the Consulate General, contacted him this summer.
 
International students often struggle with the U.S. legal system because it’s unfamiliar to them, Lee said. 
 
Youngran Jung, Korean International Student Organization president and a material science and engineering junior, said she has seen international students face legal difficulties for that reason.
 
“We sometimes are not sure about the legal system of the United States,” Jung said. 
 
International students often don’t know what to do if they get a ticket or are involved in a car accident, she said. 
 
“We have a lot of students who [have] only been in the United States for a year or maybe two years,” she said. “If they have a hard time understanding … official documents such as a ticket … they just give up on it.” 
 
Lee said part of the problem is that it’s difficult for students to know whom to contact if they find themselves in trouble. Having a liaison on campus will make it easier for them to get assistance, he said.
 
“The most important thing to protect Korean students is [to] make a good relationship with the police department of the University,” Lee said, adding that he visited the University in September and met with Korean international students and Clark to discuss the program. At that time, he said, Korean students told him about safety and legal issues they face on campus, though he said Minnesota is relatively safe compared to other Midwestern states.
 
Clark said UMPD-appointed officer Sam Schooler as liaison with KISO.
 
Schooler will meet with KISO at least once each year, Clark said, and make himself available to help organization members.
 
“I feel … safer around campus because I know that if I have some kind of legal problem … I can always come to Officer Schooler for help,” Jung said.