Once the sun sets, the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus becomes a void.
Its paths are lit only by the occasional lamppost, its buildings drained of their 70,000 daytime inhabitants.
Only the scratch of walkie-talkies and roving footsteps break the silence as campus security monitors make their rounds, walking the late-night studiers and stragglers home late into the night.
“You definitely get to see a whole other side to campus,” said JD Counsell, a freshman and former security monitor. “It was like a pressing kind of loneliness you got. … It was just — humbling, almost.”
During the fall semester, bouts of crime punctured the University’s nightly emptiness. And at the urging of every consequent crime alert, use of the Security Monitor Program spiked.
The program, also known as 624-WALK, employs students to be 24/7 eyes and ears for University police and to escort callers home.
It’s not a job for everyone. For up to 60 hours a week, they patrol buildings and escort people home into the early morning hours. Then they go to class.
“They warn people: Don’t do too much, too fast, too hard,” said Henry Gray, a sophomore and former monitor. “People burn out quickly.”
Former and current security monitors say that after a while, quitting is the only option.
Calls to the service increased with each crime alert this fall, according to Minnesota Daily analysis of security monitor call logs. However, security monitor staffing remained the same, raising questions about whether the program is equipped to handle the influx of calls.
Jim Zebrowski was always better at baseball than football, but he’s made a living molding young quarterbacks.
He currently serves as the Gophers’ quarterbacks coach, schooling the most important position in football — a position that’s been a turnstile for Minnesota since Jerry Kill and his staff came to Minneapolis in 2011.
Zebrowski has worked with every signal caller since then, and for the first time, he’s found one who possesses nearly every trait he looks for in the position.
In the past, MarQueis Gray and Max Shortell — holdovers from Tim Brewster’s stint as head coach — struggled to make an impact in Kill’s first two seasons with the Gophers.
Philip Nelson — touted as the quarterback of the future — replaced Gray and Shortell midway through the 2012 campaign. Nelson entered 2013 as the No. 1 quarterback but shared much of his time under center with Mitch Leidner. A bit wary of losing his starting spot and becoming a backup, Nelson transferred to Rutgers in January.
Now the quarterback position is in the hands of Leidner, an under-recruited downhill runner from Lakeville, Minn. He didn’t come to the Gophers with the pomp and circumstance that Nelson did, but he looks the part of a Zebrowski signal caller.
Zebrowski has taken under-recruited quarterbacks and turned them into all-conference performers in the past — and Leidner could be next.
“You’ve got to love football as a quarterback. You can’t like it,” Zebrowski said. “You’ve got to be done with practice and be excited about watching film.”
A former Minnesota Daily cartoonist and University of Minnesota alumnus was awarded journalism’s highest honor Monday.
Kevin Siers, 59, received a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons on national hot-button topics ranging from gun control to health care.
He works for the Charlotte Observer newspaper in North Carolina, and hundreds of publications syndicate his cartoons nationwide.
Siers attended the University in the 1980s and worked as a cartoonist at the Daily for six years, winning national awards for his work. His cartoons frequently poked fun at political topics, including former President Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, using a satirical style that he maintains today.
“He uses humor and satire effectively to make his point, and the originality really stands out,” said Steve Sack, the Star Tribune’s 2013 Pulitzer-winning cartoonist.
Photo: Minnesota Daily alumnus Kevin Siers, now of the Charlotte Observer, won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for editorial cartooning. As a Daily cartoonist in the 1980s, he drew a variety of poliltical cartoons like this one, about then-Gov. Al Quie.
A riotous crowd filled Dinkytown for the second time in three days Saturday, following the Gophers’ loss in the NCAA Frozen Four final.
Behavior was similar two nights before — when the Gophers men’s hockey team beat North Dakota in the semifinal — but this time, instead of a jubilant crowd, many seemed like they were there to challenge police.
Some threw bottles, others chanted “pigs go home,” and one student ran across the street to moon the line of police. He was quickly tackled and arrested.
After police pushed the initial crowd of several hundred out of Dinkytown, what had escalated into a riot dispersed into skirmishes throughout University of Minnesota-area neighborhoods. Dinkytown was clear by about 1 a.m.
Police spent almost two months preparing for Thursday and Saturday night, recalling hockey riots in 2002 and 2003.
In the 2002 hockey riots, police were criticized for being too aggressive and fueling riotous behavior. Yet, the next year — after deciding to refrain from force as long as possible — they were criticized for failing to keep things under control.
In 2003, rioters lit fires, smashed windows and flipped cars, wreaking havoc throughout Dinkytown and beyond. In that riot, Minneapolis police arrested nearly a dozen people and University police filed more than 40 crime reports and responded to nine arson calls.
In comparison, Saturday was subdued. At least 19 people were arrested and there were two known arson incidents, according to Minneapolis police.
Some attributed the comparatively minimal damage to police preparedness and quick action, while others argued the riot would not have happened — particularly with the Gophers’ loss — were it not for all the hype and intense police presence.
Minneapolis police officer sprays tear gas at a pedestrian in front of Espresso Royale on Thursday evening. People stormed Dinkytown’s street following the Gopher men’s hockey semifinal win against North Dakota. (Photo: Bridget Bennett/ MnDaily2014)
Anarae Schunk’s room hasn’t changed.
Clothes hang in her closet, a pair of her shoes sits neatly near the door and books line her shelves — “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Life of Pi,” edges worn and greyed. On a full-length mirror hanging on the door, “You are beautiful” is written in dry erase marker, staining the glass with the round, lilting penmanship of a young girl.
Outside, a wall is lined with trophies from chess tournaments, and a table where she used to tutor elementary and middle school students is still set up.
But after the University of Minnesota student’s death in September, the house where her family has lived since just before her birth has become too still.
There are more than 20 years of signs of Anarae. For each one, her mother has a story.
Mariana Schunk, 60, laughs, remembering her daughter attaching a Christmas bow to a photo of herself on the piano in the living room. She smiles when pointing to a collage Anarae made with a series of photos: Mariana and her husband, Monty, at their wedding, a shawl joining their shoulders and wreaths crowning their heads; nearly identical baby photos of Mariana and Anarae stacked one over the other, which people often confuse.
The two still share the same eyes, smile and soft, round face. Mariana is pleased when the resemblance is pointed out, but she doesn’t see it.
She also doesn’t see other similarities. Both she and Anarae had an innate tendency to befriend those on the outskirts of society and see something redeeming in them.
Mariana, who works in special education, never thought of herself as an activist. But now she’s found herself wanting to do more, from drafting a bill that would deny bail for repeat violent offenders, to writing a book.
Sitting at a table in the Burnsville Caribou Coffee where Anarae spent countless hours — and where she was on the night of her death — Mariana said she’s trying to piece together a way to move forward.
“I feel like I’m waking up,” she said. “I’ve just been so engrossed in grief that I haven’t been able to think.”
Photo: A photo of Anarae and friends at a high school formal sits on the shelf above her bed. (Bridget Bennett/MnDaily2014)
Once a year, the Rarig Center opens its doors to University students to create a production in 24 hours using their creative talents. The Peers, a group of theatre students, walked The Minnesota Daily through their process.
Doran Companies’ Dinkytown hotel proposal is still in flux, but a new Stadium Village hotel is quietly moving forward near the University of Minnesota.
The Minneapolis Planning Commission unanimously approved CPM Companies’ $13 million extended-stay hotel Monday without discussion. The five-story, 122-room hotel would primarily cater to the University of Minnesota’s incoming $160.5 million Ambulatory Care Center, set to open in 2016.
The unnamed hotel, to be located at Essex Street and Huron Boulevard Southeast, has faced little opposition to this point, a prospect unfamiliar to area developers. As of March 31, the city received no public comment on the project, the city staff report said.