Disputes at Carlson between security, students

The school designed special areas for the public and others for the Carlson students only.

For the past several weeks, there have been disputes between security monitors and the students who come to study at Carlson School of Management. Sandwiched between Riverside Plaza and Wilson Library, Carlson is one of the most populated places in the West Bank. Scores of students âÄî both from the University of Minnesota and community colleges âÄî come into the building to study with typically more during midterms and finals. For security purposes, a new rule was put into a place in October 2008, leaving some who study confused about when they could be there. The school designed special areas for the public and others for the Carlson students only. Though the building is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., many come to study at about 9 p.m. and plan on staying until 2 a.m. because they have other things to take care of in the daytime. With this policy, the breakout-rooms, which everyone used to use, are now locked 24 hours a day while only Carlson students, faculty and staff are authorized for access to these rooms. There are public spaces in the building, including the atrium areas and walkways on some levels, said Johnny W. Thompson, director of strategic communication for Carlson, along with seating areas and the dining room. There are also breakout rooms on the first and second floor which used to open for the students, even those from community colleges, many students say. But security personnel say the breakout rooms have never been open to the public. Because of security issues and unauthorized people who sometime donâÄôt give up the space for Carlson students who reserved the rooms, the management put restrictions that angered some of the students. Abdisalan Mohamud, a business and marketing junior who is not a Carlson student, said it is unfortunate management locks the doors and makes them study in the atrium and other areas where the lighting is so poor and many people passing by. âÄúIf breakout rooms would have been used, I would not mind studying outside,âÄù Mohamud said, âÄúbut a lot of times they are not even occupied. I cannot believe the fact that they donâÄôt trust students with University identifications.âÄù Two security workers, who asked not to be named because they werenâÄôt authorized to speak to the media, said the building management asked them to clear out those who arenâÄôt University students. âÄúWe are not trying to be rude,âÄù one of the workers, who is a supervisor , said. âÄúWe have had some issues.âÄù Despite the studentsâÄô plans to study for exams at places they consider a public institution, the monitors kick many people out of Carlson every night. Consequently, many get upset and yell at the security monitors. To avoid disputes, supervisors now walk with the security staff and ask those who are not University students to leave. They give alternatives to students, including telling them to study at Wilson and other libraries at the University, which are open until midnight. However, this doesnâÄôt help many who are asked to leave. Zinash Mekete, a first-year nursing student at college of St. Catherine , is a mother of two who works during the day and studies in the night. âÄúI have an exam tomorrow,âÄù Mekete said Wednesday night. âÄúMy plan was to study âÄòtil 2 a.m. This is the only place that is open.âÄù Still, when many people gather in a place, it is hard to identify who is causing trouble or not, for this reason security monitors play a significant role to âÄúpatrol the campus and enforce Carlson policiesâÄù said Ben Schnable , program manager for security staff on campus. But Mekete says the monitors were supposed to protect those who are studying from disturbances. âÄúThey are being disruptive to me now,âÄù said Mekete. âÄúThis is the only place I can study. âÄúI have small children at home, seven month and five-year-old children. I cannot concentrate when I am at home with them.âÄù