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U of M students escalate demands for a safer campus

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Worried about their safety, University of Minnesota students are taking their concerns to state lawmakers and city officials. The push is fueled by a surge in violent crime on or near the Twin Cities campus since the beginning of the school year.

KARE 11 reports that the Minnesota Student Association held a daylong event "Say Something about Safety" Thursday. It's a letter-writing and phone campaign to lawmakers and local city officials to plead for help following incidents of armed robbery, attempted kidnapping and rape.

Mike Schmit, the president of the MSA, the U of M's undergraduate student government, said even he's been victimized. He says his house, on the edge of campus, was burglarized in September.

Schmit told KARE, "Everybody on campus has a story whether they know somebody who has been mugged or they are feeling unsafe on campus."

The Star Tribune reports that the students' concerns have not been lost on Twin Cities law enforcement officials, who are taking the unusual step of assigning more officers to help the U of M's 50 police officers cover the area.

The crime problem has captured the attention of at least one legislator. KARE said state Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL-Minnetonka) will hold a hearing about U of M campus security at the State Capitol Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Police Department is expected to release soon a composite sketch of a suspect connected with two sexual assaults just off campus last month. Police say the suspect may also be involved in an assault of another student on University Avenue near Williams Arena and TCF Bank Stadium.

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