Wheelock responds to riotous activity in Dinkytown

Vice President for University Services Pam Wheelock addressed last week’s raucous gatherings in an email to students, faculty and staff on Friday.

by Nicholas Studenski

Vice President for University Services Pam Wheelock on Friday sent the most extensive response from a University of Minnesota administrator to the riotous activity in Dinkytown last week following the Gophers’ NCAA Frozen Four Thursday win and Saturday loss. She discussed the raucous gatherings in her April 18 public safety update email to University students, faculty and staff.  

Wheelock avoided placing blame for Saturday’s riot, saying she’s heard from “dozens” of people that it lies with the police, students, media or the administration. She acknowledged concerns about the size of police presence, but said in such a serious situation, too much police presence is preferable to not enough. Police arrested 20 people, most of whom were students, for crimes related to the rowdy behavior on Thursday and Saturday.

Though she said it can be difficult to tell when an excited celebration becomes a riot, Wheelock said she sees the fact that there were no serious injuries and a relatively small amount of property damage as a sign that the police responded well.

Ultimately, Wheelock said the incidents were a learning experience. In addition to reviewing public safety preparation strategies, Wheelock said the University is considering plans to let students gather somewhere to celebrate, “as opposed to standing on the streets of Dinkytown.”

Wheelock also encouraged students share their opinions with her via email.