MINNEAPOLIS - The recent crimes on or near the University of Minnesota has some students speaking out.
Sophomore Rachel Sadowsky and senior Sara Gottlieb started a petition Wednesday demanding more police patrols after numerous incidents.
"Recently, every time we open our email we have a crime alert," said Gottlieb.
Since the first of the month, they say they've received four alerts from campus officials. The most recent came Wednesday informing students about an off campus armed robbery that happened near 11th Ave SE and 8th St SE.
A man allegedly pulled a gun on a student about to walk into his home after work. The alert states the suspect took off with the student's wallet, cell phone, and laptop.
And just last week, university police locked down the West Bank after an alleged attempted armed robbery on campus. The suspect was never located.
"It's gotten to the point where it's affecting everything. I feel that everything I need to get done in my 24 hours has to cram into the 10 hours of daylight or whatever it is," she said.
The students petition is at moveon.org and they say more than 1400 people have signed it.
"I think the thing we need to see is that they're taking us seriously by looking into what we say as students because we are the ones who this is affecting," said Sadowsky.
While university officials have said they feel the campus is safe overall, in a statement they point to increased patrols over the past week and look to do more.
"In the week since President Eric Kaler pledged enhanced measures to increase safety, University Police Officers have logged more than 100 hours of overtime, Boynton Health Service has expanded the Gopher Chauffeur service to include Thursday nights," the statement read.
With help from Minneapolis officers they also note campus police arrested seven people involved in two incidents.
"That's great the university feels the same way we do but we're not seeing anything out of it," said Gottlieb who says she and her friends haven't seen extra police presence.
They are now asking for other students to voice their concerns and sign their petition.
"So students know they do have a voice," said Sadowsky.
FULL STATEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA:
University of Minnesota statement regarding campus safety (11/20/2013)
The safety of students, faculty and staff is the highest priority at the University of Minnesota. The call for more police presence and additional resources has been heard loud and clear.
In the week since President Eric Kaler pledged enhanced measures to increase safety, University Police Officers have logged more than 100 hours of overtime, Boynton Health Service has expanded the Gopher Chauffeur service to include Thursday nights and the UMPD Coordinated Response Team has continued their work with the Minneapolis Second Precinct that resulted in seven arrests in two different incidents. Last Friday night, President Kaler accompanied UMPD on a ride-along from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. to witness first-hand the variety of challenges officers face.
Earlier today, President Kaler and Vice President for University Services Pamela Wheelock met with Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges to discuss campus safety and other University issues. Last week, Wheelock and University Police Chief Greg Hestness met with Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau to discuss University concerns and how to enhance joint efforts to ensure safety near and on campus.
But police presence alone won't ensure campus and neighborhood safety. Work must continue to build a culture of shared responsibility for safety among students, faculty and staff.
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