Jagdfeld, Norton promote late weekend bus, campus safety

Robyn Repya

Jake Jagdfeld and Rick Norton said pubic safety is their first priority in the Minnesota Student Association presidential race.

Jagdfeld, a political science and journalism senior, and his vice presidential running mate, Norton – a junior political science and history major – said they want to implement a late-night bus plan to make students feel safer on campus.

Already an MSA resolution, the bus route would run from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the weekends.

“We feel like students’ personal safety is at risk at those times,” Jagdfeld said.

Using transportation as a tool for bolstering campus safety, Jagdfeld said, a Campus Connector route that would run by the Superblock, up University Avenue, down Washington Avenue and end in the West Bank’s Seven Corners area, would also help improve student safety.

Jagdfeld and Norton said sexual violence is another campus safety issue that needs to be addressed.

They said they’ve been working with the University’s Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education, which helps students deal with sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking, to develop a campus-safety whistle program.

“Last year alone there were 184 instances of sexual violence reported to the Aurora Center,” Jagdfeld said.

The “whistle program” would give students whistles to blow if they are attacked, to deter the attacker and summon help.

While campus safety is a large part of their political platform, Norton and Jagdfeld said they want MSA to get more involved with the student body by attending student organization meetings and touring residence halls so they know what else is happening on campus.

“Whenever you can bring together as many ideas and experiences as possible, you can come up with better solutions for helping students,” Norton said.

By talking with students, they said, they’ve been able to identify housing issues as a major concern.

Norton said because many students stressed the need for renter education, they want to plan a forum involving the University housing office, a city inspections representative and a representative from Student Legal Services.

They’re also supporting an MSA initiative called the “Landlord Library,” a housing database that holds a landlord’s inspection records and former renters’ comments.

“We want to give students the ability to make a decision before they’re stuck in a 12-month lease,” Norton said.

Jagdfeld said his three and a half years of experience working with Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, coupled with Norton’s experiences and connections as this year’s MSA administrative officer, makes them the best candidates for the job.

More information about these candidates can be found on their Web site: www.jakeandrickmsa.com.