Student stabbed with hypodermic needle in U of M building weeks before security changes go into effect

Updated: November 18, 2019 06:43 PM

After a was student stabbed with a hypodermic needle, the University of Minnesota is tightening its security at some of its buildings on campus. 

The discussion about making security changes started about a year ago, but the changes are only now going into effect on Monday, Dec. 2nd.


University of Minnesota Senior Emma Connel is used to getting Safe U Alerts about security threats on campus but is surprised she did not get an alert about the October hypodermic needle attack. 

"How didn't I get a Safe U Alert about the hypodermic needle at Diehl Hall, that is crazy that we had no idea," Connell said.

According to a release, on a Saturday afternoon, a student was stabbed with a hypodermic needle when studying at the medical library in Diehl Hall.

"We were shocked it happened on campus in a building, but also shocked the U hasn't told us," she said.

"The reason we didn't have a communication for the event at that time was the suspect was immediately apprehended so there was not an on-going threat to people from that person at that time," Vice President of University Service Mike Berthelsen said.

Some students are aware of the changes now coming to nearly a dozen health services buildings when it comes to access.

Students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear their university U-card when inside the buildings.

"What that does is helps everyone know who they are around and who's around the building with them," Berthelsen said.

Stepped-up security has been a topic of conversation for the last year, the university stating it has faced increased risks in the health sciences buildings, including trespassing and other crimes.

"The assault in Diehl Hall is an example of the kind of concerns we have," Berthelsen said.

"Starting since last winter there was a significant increase in the number of people using the space who really didn't have a purpose to be here, and that exhibited behavior that made it difficult for people to be safe and their space," he added.

The public will still have access to the buildings, through three public doors, but will not be allowed in the buildings in the evenings or on weekends.

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Jessica Miles

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