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More lights, security for campus neighborhoods

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News from the higher education beat includes stories about security and a major donation.

Vikings to light up the U?

There will be an increase of traffic and visitors at the University of Minnesota when the Minnesota Vikings play two seasons of their schedule at TCF Bank Stadium while their new downtown stadium is under construction.

The Minnesota Daily reports a student group wants the team to fund Project Lighthouse, a plan to install more and better lighting in campus neighborhoods to deter crime and make the area safer. The Vikings will contribute $125,000 to the Good Neighbor Fund — $90,000 in cash and $35,000 in in-kind donations. The Project Lighthouse request seeks $7,500 in in-kind donations to install the lights with additional $8,500 to pay for lights and promotional materials.

More building security

The Minnesota Daily also reports the Building Access Pilot Program will be expanded to increase campus safety. The program, which began Feb. 3, requires students, faculty and staff to swipe their U Cards to access some West Bank buildings during specific hours. The university has been plagued with a series of high-profile robberies in campus buildings and in neighborhoods adjacent to the university.

University spokesman Tim Busse said by the end of the summer, University Services plans to expand the program to more West Bank buildings. It will also eventually include the East Bank.

The D in UMD is for Downtown (or Donation)

The big college news in Duluth has to do with a major gift. The Duluth News Tribune reports that Maurices, the women's apparel retailer based in the city, announced that it will donate one of its downtown buildings to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The building will pass to UMD when Maurices moves to its new headquarters in 2016. UMD plans to use the 75,000-square-foot building for courses geared at downtown's adult learners, including continuing education and certificate programs.

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