U of M student leaders condemn calls to obstruct campus police

Their statement was issued in response to comments made by Lauren Meyers, who publicly strategized about how to make the lives of campus police officers “hell.”

University of Minnesota/Facebook

Two members of the University of Minnesota’s student government are speaking out against one of their peers who advocated for obstructing campus police with fake emergency calls.

“We are two members of the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) Executive Board and we wholeheartedly denounce the comments that were made during the April 14, 2021 Executive Board meeting regarding police interference on campus,” said students Andrew Knuppel and Morgan McElroy.

Their statement was issued in response to comments made by Lauren Meyers, a member of the MSA Executive Board who publicly strategized about how to make the lives of campus police officers “hell.”

“Make their lives hell. Annoy the s— out of them,” Meyers said during a recent student government meeting. “Like, use up their resources, make their officers show up to something.”

Her comments prompted a response from two major Minnesota police unions, which requested an investigation into whether Meyers violated the school’s code of conduct.

“We call upon our fellow student leaders who have stayed silent over the last 72 hours to denounce the comments made in the clip that’s been widely circulating in the media,” Knuppel and McElroy said in their joint statement.

“To achieve any progress on critical campus issues such as police reform and campus safety, elected student leaders should strive to engage with administrators and campus law enforcement collaboratively,” they added. “The public comments made by our colleague, unintended or otherwise, have cast a dark shadow on what should be a constructive dialogue among elected student government leaders, the student body, administration, and other stakeholders.”

According to the student leaders, the full recording of the April 14 meeting “has since been deleted from our internal communications network and is the only Executive Board meeting recording we do not have access to at this time.”

“This is a direct violation of Forum File 3, a resolution passed on Executive Board transparency that was adopted by our legislative body October 27, 2020,” they said.

The communications director for the Minnesota Student Association has yet to respond to a request for comment.

“However, in this instance, the University unequivocally disagrees with the ideas expressed about disrupting UMPD’s daily work. These ideas are illegal and would directly conflict with ongoing efforts to keep our campus community safe,” a school spokesperson previously told Alpha News.

Meanwhile, President Joan Gabel has announced that the school will conduct a review of whether its police department should continue to provide mutual aid to surrounding jurisdictions.