Author Topic: U of M Campus security  (Read 6994 times)

Offline Joseph S

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U of M Campus security
« on: October 28, 2008, 07:28:17 PM »
Apparently, there was an encounter with campus security earlier for our Parkour group which was a dramatic "don't do this here again or we will throw you out" response.  It took me a few hours to think about this, but campus security is no different from hotel security (except when it is a casino).  They may not have any authority to kick people off the campus, and it would be an idle threat.  For the U of M students, this is worth exploring.  There might be a bylaws of the campus security.  My guess is that they boss people around, and if those people do not listen, they can only call real law enforcement officers. 

We have two options here: disperse or respond.  My guess is that there is some "better wisdom" elsewhere within the greater American Parkour bulletin board.  Naivete strikes most security forces early, and it just builds for nanny state policies over time.  I'm aghast at the choices being made, but most simple folks fear what they do not understand.  Consider the security guard, unable to move beyond pedestrian actions.  The guard would be fearful of the more agile. Take a moment to consider their relatively benign function, and all the things they may or may not be responsible for doing.  They have to report break-ins, right?  Naturally, anyone who could ascend walls or clear other obstacles and gaps might be construed as a property safety threat.  A burglar, in someone's mind. 

This suggests some value in a response.  If we do nothing, we lose a great urban environment.

Incidentally, nobody bugged me doing the conditioning on the stairs this evening.
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Offline Tai

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008, 05:35:54 AM »
technically the only thing they are doing is removing us based on Minnesota loidering and treaspasing laws, it is at the discresion of the ones who mange the buildings to allow us to stay, this law is so simple their is really no way around it unless we can prove that we had to be there for some reason other than parkour.

Offline Skinny

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 06:14:21 AM »
You bring up an interesting point with dealing with authority.  I (I say I because I don't want to speak for other, I expect everyone to help) am planning on hosting the next Midwest Jam in Minneapolis.  When I get back to the states, I will try to get in contact with Minneapolis police and U of M campus police and try to explain to them what parkour and freerunning are and emphasize that it is not climbing on everything, breaking stuff, and trespassing, but a way to exercise and get stronger and smarter.  If this goes well, we should be able to have a good jam without too much hassle.  I know it will be difficult, but if we focus on the physical aspect of it, there really isn't anyway they can say no.

I will need help from everyone and if anyone has knowledge on laws or a contact within the police, that may be helpful.  I think it is great that the Minnesota parkour scene is growing and in the right direction, I wish I could be there with you guys.  I'll be back soon enough though.  In the meantime, as always, be respectful of authority.  If they ask what you are doing or to leave, be respectful and do as they say, arguing will only hurt us.

Also, if anyone wants to start doing research and put together a presentation for the police, that would be helpful and we can work on it as a community too.  Start posting ideas for it.  I'll even make a thread just for it!  Good idea.  Never to early to start planning!
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Offline Cellar

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 06:47:03 AM »
The UMPD actually is a legitimate police force, they're not just security guards. The officer that gave us the warnings told me that if we are seen "climbing on buildings" again, he could "give us trespass" and ban us from all the buildings on the East Bank, meaning I couldn't go to class. I'll have training be conditioning in the Rec Center on the U of M campus until I can look up the laws and see if we actually can be banned from all buildings on the East Bank for doing parkour. I'd like to talk to someone in the UMPD about parkour and explain what we're doing, but I don't want to make things worse. This is the first time I've run into trouble on campus, and I've been doing parkour here for the last two months. I don't know how legit this is, but I'm going to lay low with my parkour on campus until I can figure it out.
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Offline Tai

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 07:48:26 AM »
I agree with cellar, i have never ever experienced the police in that way, you know in the way where i haven't done anything wrong. I am going to wait a while before i do anything outside anyways, its cold.

Offline dirtjumper

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 07:34:13 PM »
For those of you that live and work on campus property and attend classes --- You should check your student contracts and enrollment agreement.  I'm sure the U has something in it about general conduct and etc...  Also the UofM Security Department that is part of the Police Department is to the best of my knowledge able to enforce any of the U's ordinances.  It is best to just say sorry you were unaware and move along.  And on a side note, the UMPD has a huge area of jurisdiction.  Most of the guys on the PD are good stuff.

Offline Joseph S

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 08:14:41 PM »
DirtJumper,
  Glad to have you on the forum.  You will have unique insight, please continue to offer your observations, information, and perspective.  I think you will be a vital part of the negotiations with the Mid West jam, so please consider getting involved in those discussions.   
"Age is a constant reminder that nothing is accomplished without a routine."

Offline Tai

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 10:28:08 AM »
  Most of the guys on the PD are good stuff.

we never said any of them were bad, and we did leave after being talked to by a building supervisor. I never did anything in front of a cop or a supervisor and was treated fine by the officer who gave us our warnings. i just didn't expect him, after i saw him, to pull onto the curb just far enough away that i had to move when he opened the door, and close enough to get between me and my bag, and then proceed to yell at us. We have always been respectful and if he had talked to the building manager who called him he would have known that. I also think that some of the decisions made after we were talked to by some of the member of our crew most likely contributed to what happened, but all that aside i was astonished that they were so mad.

 Anyway if either of you have read the other forums, Adam and I have been working on a presentation to give to the administrators and security to try and get parkour legitimized on campus. Michigan did it and so now were trying it. So instead of trying to go behind their backs and use their loopholes lets just legitimize parkour.

Offline dirtjumper

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 05:37:40 PM »
Tai, my comment was not ment to assume anything like people thinking the PD Officers are bad or what not...  What I was trying to say in a simple one-liner, was that most of the guys of the PD are good stuff and treat others the way they would like to be treated.  If an Officer is that rude to you and you feel that their conduct was unreasonable; people should forward their concern to a department head...  About legitimizing Parkour, your best bet is to find some way to show it is safe.  I suspect administrators are going to see Parkour much the same as inline skate/skateboarding, etc...  The legal liability of injury on their property is going to be one of the hardest hurdles for you to clear.  Find places that allow skateboarding, etc and use them as examples.  Good luck in getting it done and feel free to call on me for any kinda of help.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 05:41:43 PM by dirtjumper »

Offline Carcass

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 07:45:45 AM »
Come to the UofM campus in Duluth, we have only been told off by angry maids and janitors.  ;D Anyway I'm guessing campus cops there are the same as here and that they are real cops and not rent-a-cops.  If they want to give you trepassing violations they can... and trust me, I've already been tagged for trepassing while I was training and it was not a pleasant experience.  If they ask you to leave, be like Nike and 'Just Do It'.  We need the common folk to see that this is a positive activity and that we are trying to be active supporters of physical activity as well.  I think Skinny's idea of contacting the authorities and trying to get them to support it would be a very good idea especially if we are planning a large city jam.  50+ people running around downtown Minneapolis without approval would not fly very well. 

As for the incident at the campus, I have have always thought that if we all wore matching shirts (i know, it sounds kind of dumb) it would make us look much more professional, formal, and not so much like burgulars or thieves.  I also think that if we do make shirts that they should be state-wide shirts.  About a year ago I was planning on making team shirts for Le Parkour Duluth but now that I look back on it I feel that we really shouldn't be seperating ourselves and that what Minnesota needs right now is a united group of practitioners who are strongly devoted to the practice of le parkour.

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Offline Skinny

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 08:54:14 AM »
Haha good to see you back on the forum Clark, but you're a little behind.  We have been working on a presentation to present to both the U of M police and Minneapolis police.  And I like that you still call it le parkour, makes me giggle, I'll start calling it "the parkour" ;D
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Offline Jeff

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2009, 11:58:45 AM »
So, 9 months later, how did it go?

Here at UC Berkeley we're encountering the same problem now. We've managed to fly under the radar for a few years now, but we're getting enough people showing up at our regular jams now that we're getting noticed - and told to go away. Bound to happen at some point. We're going to start a club but that doesn't really address the liability fears nor the property damage fears.

I'm reading other threads like this one I've found here, but many just sort of end with "and next week we'll give our presentation to security..." and then no more posts. I've already read Zac's great powerpoint and another great thread on how to start a club. What I'm looking for now is any success stories anyone can point me to, or better threads to read specifically on the issue of getting security to be cool with parkour on campus.

Offline Joseph S

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2009, 12:59:43 PM »
Well, if you can't get Parkour to go over well at UC Berkeley, the rest of the state will follow what they do, as it is the most avant-garde of the UC campuses.  I wonder whether they kept the co-ed bathrooms in the dorms or if that was a pruritic myth promulgated only around the other UC campuses?

Anyway, the outcome was this: we met one security guard.  Apparently, he was briefed the day before that our jam was going on.  Guys, correct my memory, but he said something to the effect of "I am supposed to tell you that the U of M does not encourage or endorse these activities, but I also am not able to prevent you from doing what you are doing, either."

Chad, Skinny, Mospunk, and a few others all were very "outreaching" with the security guard.  The general attitude was to recruit him into the activity or teach him about it.  I think I asked him when his shift ended, to see if he could join in with us. 

Things that worked:
* Have an explanatory pamphlet onhand for these sorts of occasions
* make event t-shirts and encourage people to wear them (makes us more official)
* If a security guard comes towards you, start doing push-ups (well, we did!)
* Show respect for their job to protect the people and facilities of the campus

At a place like Berkeley, you might want to try to identify to the leadership committees that this is a new cultural phenomenon, and that UC Berkeley has the opportunity to lead the greater community in this social and fitness advancement.  Focus on the artistic aspects, the self-expression, the global community.  Identify that blocking actions from the campus will "cut you off" from the greater body of Parkour, and that you chose to become a UC Berkeley student because you felt this was a place of acceptance and free thinking.  Establish a "community service" aspect by including waste pick-up as a cultural obligation for your group.  Closing your statements with a reference to the Stanford Parkour group might spark just the right tone of competitiveness to shut them up for a long, long time.

You will make it.  Persist.  Work on your chatting-up skills. 
"Age is a constant reminder that nothing is accomplished without a routine."

Offline mospunk

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2009, 05:11:27 PM »
Jeff,

Vexar was remembering correctly about the security we saw during our jam.  He was a heavily tattoed guy on a bike, and was really cool.  I do think the t-shirts helped too.  He said he was supposed to look out for our safety, but otherwise turn a blind eye.  We also were approached by a cop on a motorcycle, and he was even cooler.  He was watching us for a while and said he knew about Parkour because he lived in France for a while!  Awesome.  He said that someone called "with concern for our safety" and then let us continue with that idea behind his visit. 

Back up - In the early spring some of us gave a presentation on Parkour to the student activities office at the U to get the ball rolling for permission to train on campus.  They said they would contact the right people and set us up with further presentations.  That never happened, although they did talk to risk management and facilities management.  They sent us an email explaining that they wouldn't allow Parkour on campus, but didn't say anything about enforcement or consequences.  I think this was their way of covering their butts, while still letting us train, seeing as we explained our intentions very well.  With pretty much everyone else (Minneapolis police, Minneapolis Park Board, etc) I got no replies from any emails I sent out.  We didn't have any troubles though, considering that two cop cars were right across the river as we trained at one spot and they did nothing.  We were cautious, however.  Regardless, it seems that trying to connect with the right channels helped, even if they never got back to us.  In all my emails I explained what Parkour was and why we do it, with an emphasis on safety and respect.  I also created an informational pamphlet, geared for anyone who might come by and ask questions.  If you'd like a copy, send me a pm here with a normal email address and I'll send it to you.  I also have a modified Powerpoint presentation of Travis Noble's original, modified to add in our local community and what we're doing here.  I actually have never had the chance to use it, but feel that it would be a great description of Parkour in general, and our community specifically.  It also helps that we have PK/Freerunning classes at a gymnastics gym here in the suburbs.  That has been a big help too.

So, feel free to respond with any more specific questions.  I'd be happy to help you, seeing as I've been involved with most of the administrative aspects of getting things moving here.

Best of luck!
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Offline Nicholas Schiebel

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2009, 04:08:42 PM »
Just going to throw this out there:

Isn't the whole point of Parkour constant forward movement, progression, and improvement? So instead of annoying people by training in the same spot, scout out a bunch of places, set up a route, and run it. Then tomorow, set up a new one, and run that one. Either way, don't stay in the same place for too long, keep moving.

Think of the city as a giant course, and plan to run as far as you can, as quick as you can, and conquer as many things as you can along the way.

That should clear up any officer issues, and keep pedestrians happy.

Rule #N: If it takes more than five minnutes, or you're drawing a crowd/attention, you've taken too long.

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Offline Skinny

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2009, 05:49:17 PM »
First, yes.

Second, no.
Often when training, you want to focus on one thing, say kongs.  Or maybe you have found one spot that you can practice many different vaults and flow.  Just because you are at the same spot doesn't mean you can't find new things to do.  At spots I have been training for years, I am finding new stuff, either by myself being creative or bringing a new person there. 

5 minutes isn't really long enough to practice anything.  5 minutes is when you are walking around your training area and say "hey, this is really fun, I want to do it quick".  That being said, when training at familiar places, you can set challenges for yourself, like a precision you haven't been able to land or a kong to cat that's just out of reach. 

The U happens to be a place with lots of great, fun places to train.  Even if you were to take 5 minutes at each spot, it's a big campus and you are still on their property.  If we could get cleared from some of the potential problems we can foresee happening, it's less of a burden for us and UMPD. 
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Offline Nicholas Schiebel

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2009, 06:38:35 AM »
So, is there any reason you can't practice different movements on different spots, and even return to other spots to try something new?

When you say training, it sounds more like repetitive movement, doing the same thing a hundred times. Why not just go run, everyday, conquer everything, and let yourself slowly grow in ability? Why stick to the same, boring, schedule, when you can do something fresh and new everyday?

And while five minutes may not be enough to train, it should be more than enough to dominate an obstacle. The training occurs over the entire course, not on a single spot, over, and over again.

I just think that's too constricting, and far to reflective of skaters, and look at how society looks at them.
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Offline Chad Zwadlo (Zwadloc)

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2009, 09:25:02 AM »
Would it make sense for a weight lifter to lift a weight just one time and move on to something else?  Or how about a gymnast to do a flip just once and move on?  How many times do you think a pro basketball player practices a free-throw shot in a single practice?  Certainly more than once or twice.  Or how many times does a martial artist practice each punch or kick before it's mastered?  You are thinking of parkour more like jogging or marathon running where they are moving around all the time (even though they are even doing the same move over and over and over).  We need to master the moves that we do in every situation we find ourselves in...which mean at every place we train at we should hit every obstacle we find probably 100 or even 1000 times before we have really mastered it.

Offline Grant (LOTRFreak993)

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2009, 12:27:10 PM »
First, yes.

Second, no.
Often when training, you want to focus on one thing, say kongs.  Or maybe you have found one spot that you can practice many different vaults and flow.  Just because you are at the same spot doesn't mean you can't find new things to do.  At spots I have been training for years, I am finding new stuff, either by myself being creative or bringing a new person there. 

5 minutes isn't really long enough to practice anything.  5 minutes is when you are walking around your training area and say "hey, this is really fun, I want to do it quick".  That being said, when training at familiar places, you can set challenges for yourself, like a precision you haven't been able to land or a kong to cat that's just out of reach. 

The U happens to be a place with lots of great, fun places to train.  Even if you were to take 5 minutes at each spot, it's a big campus and you are still on their property.  If we could get cleared from some of the potential problems we can foresee happening, it's less of a burden for us and UMPD. 
I live by this park. I have been training there since day 1. I have been training for about a year and a half. The last few months I have found tons of new things to do at this park. The longewr you do parkour the more your traceur mind expands.

Offline mospunk

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Re: U of M Campus security
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2009, 12:41:36 PM »
Chad is absolutely right.  It's a little thing called muscle memory; the more you do it, the more it becomes natural.  It's also vital for building and maintaining strength, agility, and power. 

What you call boring, some of us call discipline.  I hear what you're saying Ickiss, and there are definitely days when I just want to run through something once, which is why I developed the Parkour gauntlet - a challenging 5km course of running and Parkour, meant to be done as a continuous run.  That, however, has its place, just as repetition work does.  There's also a difference for some between training and a jam.  Training is disciplined repetition, whereas a jam is fun, when you can do whatever you want when you want . 

It needs to be noted that Parkour is a discipline, but it's also a way of moving through everyday life, so you can't pinpoint one or the other thing as better.  Variety is the spice of life, so spend time in one place and just look.  I guarantee, as Grant said, that you'll find new and cool stuff to do (it's also the mental challenge part of Parkour, utilizing your creativity), but also take some time to just cruise through things and work on flow.  It's all valuable.

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