The Super Bowl is an event that draws a lot of attention, but does not normally disrupt college campuses. That is until Super Bowl LII was planned to come to Minneapolis this year at US Bank Stadium, just a few blocks away from North Central. This weekend will be the test for the operations that have been planned over the last two years.
With over a year of planning and restructuring of North Central’s 2018 Spring semester it was announced to students that they would be closing the campus because of the 10-day event. It wasn’t until the official press release on Jan. 25 that the public had confirmation of North Central facilities being used as a staging area for NFL event security.
North Central administration let students know that if they wished to stay in their housing during Winter Break they would have to go though an application process. While also encouraging the students to leave campus if they could, to avoid the chaos the event would turn the downtown area into.
With over 200 employees working and students staying on campus, the Super Bowl Task Force had to envision what the campus would be like when it would be used as a staging area.
On Jan. 18th students were informed that law enforcement, protective services and the National Guard would be using North Central facilities. There are tactical vehicles stationed around campus and checkpoints with armed personal placed at entrances to campus property.Here are few things to remember for students staying on campus:
• The only campus buildings students have access to are Phillipps Hall, Miller Hall and Carlson Hall.
• The Deli would only be open to students during a set time each morning and can not be used for a hangout spot outside of that time.
• Students are not allowed to park on North Central parking lots as these were rented out for security operations. Students were able to apply for one of the limited spots, reserved for students staying on campus, or they could make use of a temporary parking arrangement North Central made with River Valley Church.
• Students and staff must remember to wear their red or yellow lanyard respectively with their own black identification card while outside of their rooms or apartments on campus property. These credentials ensure that law enforcement know who is a vetted person within the community. Always have them visible.
Even though students have been enjoying their extra break this semester, soon facilities will resume as normal. North Central’s campus will open for returning students on Feb. 5, classes will not begin until Feb. 6.