UW-Milwaukee students upset at police chief's comments

MILWAUKEE --  Disrespected by Milwaukee’s top cop. Many students at UW-Milwaukee are upset about statements made by Milwaukee’s Police Chief Edward Flynn.  The strong words came in response after school officials requested a meeting with him to discuss student concerns.

Student Tailer Roscoe said, “Not everyone goes out at night doing stuff.” Roscoe feels like students at UWM are getting a bad reputation because of a handful of unruly students.

“I just feel like they’re trying to make it safe for us,” said Senior Emily Murphy. Murphy supports the increased police efforts in helping curb disorderly behavior. Recently dozens of arrests were made and a letter sent by Police Chief Edward Flynn, defended the crackdown, "It appears our strict enforcement and new practice of taking violators into custody are the strategies that have the greatest impact on the disorder.”

But it was his words that characterized the students, that has them deeply hurt. Flynn said, “I view your students as `guests` since most do not own property in Milwaukee and they do not directly contribute to the tax base. As guests they should be exhibiting appropriate conduct.”

Many of these tuition and rent paying students took offense. “More than a guest because I have been here for 4 years and I plan to stay here after I graduate. So when do you become more than a guest?” said Murphy. Roscoe added, “I’m from Michigan  so this is my home. I don`t have anywhere else in the state. I don`t consider myself a guest here. My dorm is my home.”

Tom Luljak Vice Chancellor of University Relations echoed similar sentiments and said students are in distress. He added, “A lot of the students we talked to were deeply hurt by it. They felt like it was disrespectful to suggest that some should not be given the same consideration of rights and privileges than that of people who own property. They work in the city, they vote in the city, they volunteer their time to many of  the different organizations helping people in the city."

Many involved with the campus say the students are residents in every sense of the word and contribute a lot to the city. As for the meeting, school officials have invited the chief to meet to share concerns. Despite the chief's remarks, Luljak said the goal is make sure both the students and longtime-residents in neighborhood have a high quality of life.