Leave ordinance-making to city

Giving the regents power to make ordinances makes little sense.

A misguided bill that passed a Minnesota House Committee could give the University of Minnesota Board of Regents power to enact ordinances with misdemeanor penalties. The bill was written to help the University define laws better for people who will attend football games on campus in the fall at the new TCF Bank Stadium, according to Rep. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park. However, the billâÄôs broad language would give the regents the power to âÄúenact ordinances pursuant to the authority granted under the University Charter and consistent with state law which it considers necessary or proper for the government of the university and protection, health, safety and comfort of the public on property owned, leased or occupied by the University of Minnesota.âÄù The language of this bill is far too sweeping and too broadly defines University property, which clearly would apply to many areas outside of simply regulating football game-days and surrounding stadium areas. In fact, according to University police Chief Greg HestnessâÄô comments, if passed, the University could enact ordinances unrelated to game-day activities, such as camping without a permit or violating public building hours. Hestness also stated that the bill would allow the University to define laws police officers should enforce during game day activities. Though regulating game day activities is a worthy cause, this bill extends the UniversityâÄôs reaches far beyond the premises of the stadium and would impact the entire state. The University should work with the city of Minneapolis to consider solutions rather than seeking its own ordinance-making power, which would only confuse game-day visitors instead of clarifying current laws.