MINNEAPOLIS - The recent assaults on or near the University of Minnesota campus has the attention of the state legislature.
State Senator Terri Bonoff, of Minnetonka, will hold a hearing about campus security Tuesday morning at the state capitol. The DFL legislator tells KARE 11 she wants to hear from law enforcement about security, not just for the U of M but other metro schools who are dealing with crime.
Some of that crime includes a sexual assault near the U of M campus and a student getting pepper sprayed near TCF Bank Stadium.
"It was just really scary," said one student.
The woman, who asked not to be identified, says she was pushed to the ground by a man who allegedly tried to pull her toward his vehicle while another man waited in a nearby car.
It was shortly after midnight last Wednesday when she was walking alone to a bus stop on University Avenue near Oak Street.
"Even when I heard a car slow down that scared me enough. I didn't look at it and started walking faster," she said.
When the man approached her, she said he asked her if she needed help. She said no and that's when he grabbed her, she says. She tried using pepper spray but the man allegedly grabbed it and used it on her.
"I just screamed and just kept screaming," she said.
The two men took off leaving her behind with her face burning from the pepper spray.
While university officials say crime is down over the last several years, they have increased hours for their chauffeur service and are working closely with Minneapolis Police, they say.
They also tell KARE 11 they've increase patrols with help from Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies the last two weekends.
University officials have also planned a number of events in the coming days in hopes of getting students more engaged.
They have asked students to take a "street smart pledge" where students will agree to never walk alone at night or let friends do the same.
On Thursday, the Minnesota Student Association is hosting a phone bank and letter writing campaign to urge students to contact their city council representatives to support increase lighting, surveillance and patrols near campus.
And on Friday, campus officials along with the Minneapolis Police Department will walk with students near the Como and Marcy Holmes neighborhoods to identify any concerns students may have in the area.
While students appreciate the efforts, some remain fearful.
"A lot of students are going out of their way to take precautions," said the woman. "I'm going to be a lot more careful."