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Health Sciences Security

What is happening? Beginning Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, access to Health Science Buildings will change. This will affect people in the following ways:

University students, faculty and staff

  • Can use their U Card to access any of 30+ doors with card reader access during University Hours, from 6 a.m. to midnight every day. Map of doors with card readers
  • Can use any of the three public access doors:  the second floor of Moos at Washington Ave, either from the steps leading down from the sidewalk or through the wheelchair accessible tunnel from the Washington Avenue Parking Ramp, the second floor of Mayo at Church St., and the third floor of Moos Tower at the Delaware circle, which are both wheelchair accessible. 
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to wear their U Card when in this part of campus.
  • Faculty and staff are required to wear their U Card when in these buildings, so students and visitors see the presence of the community. 
  • On weekends, buildings will remain open to students, faculty, and staff with a U Card.

Patients, visitors and others without a U Card

  • Will need to use the public entrances to the health sciences buildings Monday through Friday. These are located at the second floor of Moos Tower at Washington Ave, either from the steps leading down from the sidewalk or through the wheelchair accessible tunnel from the Washington Avenue Parking Ramp, the second floor of Mayo at Church St., and the third floor of Moos Tower at the Delaware circle, which are both wheelchair accessible. 
  • Will not have access to most buildings on weekends without an appointment and an escort, as most buildings are closed to the public. 
  • Will have access to the Bio-Medical Library on Saturdays and Sundays, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, through the Diehl Hall 3rd floor plaza entrance. See map and Library web site for details.

Why is this happening? Recently, the University has faced increased security risks in health sciences buildings, including trespassing and other crimes. It is a priority to continue to be welcoming to our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors while also ensuring their safety. In response, University Services, in cooperation with health sciences leadership, has developed a series of building security initiatives to retain access for those who have a reason to be in our facilities and reduce these potential risks.

These initiatives represent a significant change in our process and implementation will be refined as we establish the new procedures. 

What do I need to do? Faculty and staff are required to wear a visible U Card, University of Minnesota Physicians badge, or Fairview badge while present in the health sciences buildings beginning Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.  Students are encouraged to wear their U Card. 

What buildings are included in this change? 

  • Children's Rehabilitation Center
  • Diehl Hall
  • Dwan Variety Club Cardiovascular Research Center Building/Masonic Cancer Research Building
  • Hasselmo Hall
  • Health Sciences Education Center
  • Jackson Hall
  • Mayo Building
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Moos Tower
  • Phillips-Wangensteen Building
  • Weaver-Densford Hall 
  • Variety Club Research Building

Why are we limiting the public entrances to three doors and requiring a U Card for most doors? The buildings south of Washington Ave. are large and interconnected via tunnels and skyways. Limiting the number of public entrances to the health sciences buildings is the most effective way to ensure safe access for the University community and visitors.

How will this change affect non-University visitors to this area? Between the weekday hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the general public will be welcome in this area by appointment only. Anyone without an appointment will be required to show a reason to be in the building. This means the general public will not be permitted in these buildings without an appointment. 

Do these changes apply to the libraries? Visitors to the Wangensteen and Bio-Medical Libraries may present a Library Guest Card to enter.  

How can I access other doors in the area? Any door  in these buildings with a card reader will be accessible to any member of the University community with a U Card from 6 a.m. to midnight every day. All other doors will be locked. 

Will my U Card work with the door readers? Yes; however, if your U Card is more than 11 years old, you will need to replace it so it will work with the card readers. Contact the U Card office if you have questions about your card's age.

Which doors in these buildings have card readers?  View this map to see which doors have card readers. 

My card won't open a door between 6 a.m. and midnight, what should I do? There may be an issue with your access record, the door reader or your card. 

  • Card reader light turns amber: badge/card is not being read correctly. Remove the card from sleeve or lanyard and try holding the card 1-2 inches from the reader. This issue is being addressed. Call (612) 626-3680 with issues.
  • Card reader light turns red: badge/card may be malfunctioning, or it may not provide access to that building. Users should visit the U Card office to confirm the card is working. If the card is functioning and they need additional access between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., they should contact their department facilities representative.
  • Card reader light turns green but door does not open: this is likely a mechanical issue that our representatives can address. Call (612) 626-3680.

What do I do if I can't access a specific door or facility after hours? You will need to reach out to your Departmental Facility Representative in your college or unit to provide access or troubleshoot your access issues. The U Card Office does not assign or manage door access.

What if my U Card is lost or damaged? If you need a new U Card, visit the U Card office. You can replace a U Card every five years for no charge. A lost or damaged U Card costs $25 to replace. 

What if I don’t have a way to display my U Card? In the weeks leading up to Dec. 2, University Services will provide  lanyards and ID holders for distribution by health sciences colleges. Lanyards and holders are also available for pick up at the Coffman Memorial Union information desk. 

How will this change be enforced? Public Safety will be patrolling the health sciences buildings with security personnel. These security staff will prioritize responding to requests for service and checking common problem areas. While on patrol they may request occupants show identification as is the practice for all campus locked or limited access buildings. We know that additional security presence can affect members of our campus community differently. With that understanding, we provide implicit bias training to security officers employed by Public Safety. Public Safety continues to consult with partners across campus, including the Office of Equity and Diversity, on ways to ensure our campus is safe and welcoming for all members of the campus community. 

What if I have concerns that safety protocols may have been administered in a biased or discriminatory manner? The University is committed to administering safety protocols in an equitable and unbiased manner. To that end, the University trains its security professionals on how to avoid explicit and implicit biases in the course of their job duties. There are three options for reporting concerns.

  • Report directly to the Department of Public Safety. Call 612-624-2677 and ask to speak with the appropriate supervisor or lieutenant to discuss the incident.  A written report form can be e-mailed or mailed to you or you can schedule an appointment to register a report in person.
  • Report to the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA).  Reports can be made online or by calling 612-624-9547.
  • Report through UReport. Reports are anonymous and may be made online or by calling 866-294-8680.

Will the public doors have a reception desk? Yes. Security staff will be present to check for U Cards, U of M Physicians badges, or Fairview badges to verify visitors have an appointment in the building.

Can I use the tunnels to get to my car after public hours? In buildings closed to the public after 7 p.m., tunnel access will remain open in the direction going from buildings to parking ramps until midnight to ensure those with University access can use the tunnels. After midnight, users would need a U Card with restricted access permission to enter the tunnels. If you have restricted hours permission on your card currently, the permission will not change. 

Will I get locked out of buildings after hours and on weekends? If you previously have had extended hours access to a building, that will not change and your card should still work. If you don’t have a card, you will need to be escorted by someone with security access. 

What if I have a sponsored card? Sponsored cards are issued by departments to people who need access but don’t work at or attend the University. Access is assigned by the department on a case-by-case basis. If a sponsored card is in effect currently, restricted access won’t change on December 2 but you may need to connect with your department to change the hours that the card works on the doors it is assigned.

What will happen to people who don’t have a U Card or appointment to be in one of these buildings? University Security will ask the person to leave. If a person’s behavior is unsafe, disruptive, or a violation of law, officers will interrupt the behavior and take action, such as issuing a citation and/or removing the person from the building. Public Safety personnel also offer resources about homelessness to those who may need it.

How can I ensure access for a group visiting my college or unit? If you have a group event, it will be easiest for you and your visitors if you send someone to one of the public entrances to escort them (if possible). If that is not possible, we ask that you alert the reception desk of the time of arrival and number of people, so that they are expecting the group. 

What about deliveries? Routine deliveries, such as US Mail, FedEx, UPS, and Medistat, will be admitted through the reception desks. Other occasional vendors, such as florists or food delivery, may need to call you to meet them at the reception desk. 

Should I hold a door for someone who is “tailgating” behind me? You are asked not to let anyone into a door protected by a card reader unless you are escorting them to a meeting or they have a U Card, Fairview or University of Minnesota Physicians badge. 

What should I do if I see someone who I suspect doesn't belong in a building? If you see someone exhibiting unsafe or illegal behavior, call the Public Safety Emergency Call Center 612-626-3680. If it is an emergency situation, call 911.

Who can I contact with feedback about this change in access? Please contact userv@umn.edu if you have non-urgent comments or feedback. Please contact hssecurity@umn.edu if you have non-urgent security questions.