Bruininks, MSA talk to rid “unruly’ parties

Another meeting will be next week, possibly to make changes to the ordinance.

JP Leider

University President Bob Bruininks spent some of Tuesday evening with the Minnesota Student Association, updating members on goings-on at the University and answering questions.

After being prompted by a student, Bruininks weighed in on a proposed Minneapolis ordinance that would seek to reduce noisy and “unruly” assemblies.

“We do have some challenges in our community,” he said. “We as a campus have to be concerned about these events.

“I’m not in favor of restrictive ordinances that would hurt the ability to get housing in the area.”

However, Bruininks said the University and its students need to be good citizens and contribute to the community.

MSA Legislative Affairs Chairwoman Christina Baldwin said she doesn’t know where Bruininks stands on the issue.

“To me, he said he wanted safer neighborhoods for students ” and I think we all agree on that ” but he didn’t say outright that he disagrees with the ordinance,” she said.

Later in the meeting, MSA unanimously and without debate passed a resolution that questions the updated ordinance, written by Paul Zerby, Ward 2, who represents the Minneapolis campus and surrounding area.

Baldwin and other Forum members will meet with Zerby early next week to discuss possible changes to the ordinance.

MSA more or less supports his ordinance, Baldwin said, but wants to see specific changes made.

“As students, we do want safer neighborhoods; we do want to make landlords accountable to what happens on the property,” Baldwin said. “We just disagreed with the way they are going about it.”

During the course of the evening, Forum also heard from John Ziegenhagen of the metrics and measurement task force, which will recommend how the University will determine its progress toward becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world.

“The important thing here is the aspiration,” he said. “As a land-grant university, the University of Minnesota has an obligation to the state, the country and the world.”

Ziegenhagen said defining and setting standards is important so the University can measure what it values.

“It’s not so we can have bragging rights ” it is not a football contest,” he said.

Forum members asked Ziegenhagen how the task force will recommend measuring civic engagement, which Bruininks spoke strongly for earlier in the meeting.

Ziegenhagen cited classes with civic engagement requirements and studying abroad as possible items that could be measured.