MPD, University offices work to prevent large Spring Jam gatherings

Minneapolis and University police departments and the Office for Off-Campus Living are also door knocking and doing outreach to provide students safety information before Spring Jam.

Kinesiology senior Jared Antilla watches over the crowd from a balcony at the Sssdude-Fest Block Party on Saturday, April 22, 2017. I havent seen anything like this in three years, Antilla said. All the homemade parties get broken up. 

Carter Jones

Kinesiology senior Jared Antilla watches over the crowd from a balcony at the Sssdude-Fest Block Party on Saturday, April 22, 2017. “I haven’t seen anything like this in three years,” Antilla said. “All the homemade parties get broken up.” 

by Imani Cruzen

The Minneapolis Police Department is working with local organizations to discourage large gatherings in Dinkytown during Spring Jam after activities in past years prompted concern.

MPD, the University of Minnesota’s Office of Off-Campus Living and the University of Minnesota Police Department have partnered to inform students about staying safe during the events and hosting safe parties. Officials also want to prevent dangerously large events on the 1300 block of 7th St. SE., which saw a gathering of around 2,000 people last year.

“7th Street and 8th Street tend to be the locations that seem to attract the most attention,” said OCL Program Director Kendre Turonie. “I think the whole 2nd Precinct was just trying to get the word out that this is maybe not the place to go this year.”

An email sent out by 2nd Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist Nick Juarez provided tips for business owners, residents and property owners on how to secure their properties and communicate with others in the area when planning events. Staff of the 2nd Precinct also met with property owners earlier this month regarding Spring Jam safety.

“There has been a long history of large gatherings … on the 1300 block of 7th Street SE.,” MPD spokesperson John Elder wrote in an email. “[M]ore recently, the past 2 years there have been large gatherings of people, and both events caused significant damage to the personal property and to the rental properties as well as some fights, a sexual assault and people being over-intoxicated.”

Spring Jam outreach aims to let students know what resources are available, said an OCL off-campus neighborhood liaison Cody Hoerning.

“I think that’s mostly the goal of our outreach is just to kind of say that both the police department and regulatory services and our staff will be around kind of ensuring that things are staying orderly,” Hoerning said.

OCL will also door-knock in the area and hand out fliers about partying and traveling between locations safely.

Hoerning said the door knocking will focus on Southeast Como, specifically the west end, and Dinkytown.

“It’s just hitting the areas where there’s been issues historically,” Hoerning said.

Besides pre-Spring Jam outreach, the University’s Greek community is partnering with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association and Minnesota Student Association initiative Greeks Go Green for cleanup the day after Spring Jam. University Interfraternity Council President Gerry Weber said the Greek community wanted to come together and do something more service-based.

“Every single sorority and fraternity is a part of it,” Weber said. “A lot of [presidents] said they wanted … something that you can get volunteer hours for, but also goes back to impact the community that many of us are a part of.”

Editor’s note: Kendre Turonie sits on the Minnesota Daily’s Board of Directors.