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Dean Hall ‘confident’ transportation to Coconut Grove will return by next semester

University of Miami Dean of Students Ricardo Hall is optimistic the Ibis Ride shuttle to Coconut Grove will return next semester. In what capacity is the only remaining question.

“I’m confident that by the time fall comes around there will be some mode of transportation to the Grove, but things may change,” Hall said. “We may look into different hours, using more or less buses or using more or less monitors, I don’t know yet. We’re going to work with Lionel Moise, other folks from Student Government and Assistant Dean of Students Nanette Vega and come to some agreed-upon solution that doesn’t compromise the safety of the students, monitors or drivers.”

The popular shuttle service was canceled for the rest of the Spring Semester on April 9. The shuttle had faced the chopping block last year after bad behavior, but after a campaign from Student Government, behavior improved, leading Hall to tell The Miami Hurricane on Feb. 23 that the service was, “in a different place now.”

Despite the improvement, Dean Vega cited three incidents in particular that took place the Friday morning prior to cancellation that directly ended university-provided service to Grove.

“What prompted cancellation was three incidents that took place the Friday before the Ibis Ride was officially shut down,” Vega said. “Alcohol-related incidents involving a fight between two students in the Grove, in which one broke his nose, a student who had passed out on the bus and was unresponsive, and a student who was intoxicated and did not know where he lived warranted paramedic attention. It was at this point we realized enough was enough.”

SG President Lionel Moise has said he is determined to bring the Ibis Ride back to the university next year which is why SG has scheduled a student forum at 5 p.m. Monday at the I-Lounge. All students are invited to attend and voice their opinions on how to improve the Ibis Ride.

“I feel like there needs to be a culture change among the students in regards to the Ibis Ride,” Moise said. “Students need to realize the Ibis Ride is a privilege and not a guarantee. We lost something we love because we took advantage of it. We also want incoming freshman and transfer students to know that this can be taken away if guidelines aren’t followed.”

SG has also formed a committee that will meet over the summer in hopes of proposing a new plan to the Dean of Students administration to bring back an improved, safer Ibis Ride.

Because the Ibis Ride was created though the initiative of the university Student Government, Dean Vega and the Dean of Students office is giving Student Government full empowerment to save the ride.

“I’m not happy over what happened, but I’m glad we’re going to have the opportunity to work with Student Government and the new administration and see if we can develop a better Ibis Ride,” Vega said. “It was a difficult decision to shut it down because most students follow the rules, but we came to the conclusion the shuttle was no longer safe. We’re hoping to change that in the future.”

If You Go
What: Ibis Ride student forum
Where: I-Lounge, University Center
When: Monday, 5 p.m.
Why: To discuss future options for the Ibis Ride shuttle

April 22, 2009

Reporters

Mike Pindelski

Contributing News Writer


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.