U police hold event to encourage unity in the community

The event, which will provide free chili and doughnuts to students, is part of the University’s “Thank U” program.

Bridget Haeg

In attempts to bring the community and police together, University and Minneapolis police officers will mingle and eat with students to show unity in the community.

The event, called “Cops, Donuts, Students and Chili,” kicks off a series of monthly events called “Thank U.”

Police officers will hand out free chili and, in acknowledgement of the classic police officer food staple, doughnuts.

“Thank U” is designed to promote positive activities on campus, said Chris Frazier, University special assistant to the vice president and chief of staff.

Student representatives from different organizations wanted events “focusing on being responsible (and) engaged,” Frazier said.

The chili and doughnut lunch will show how students and police can work together, said Troy Buhta, police sergeant for the University Police Department.

He said the gathering could help the police create a “really good bond with the students Ö (and) to show that the police department isn’t just about writing tickets,” Buhta said.

The event conveys a “thank you from administration to students,” Minnesota Student Association President Eric Dyer said.

Many students said they did not know about the event or expressed disinterest in the gathering.

The Minneapolis Police Department, the University Police Department, MSA and the Office for Student Affairs sponsored the event.

Other events in the “Thank U” series include chocolate giveaways, a speaker, an ice cream social and an open house, Frazier said.