More than 10 incidents of vomiting, alcohol violations, fighting and other offenses on the shuttle this semester have put the weekend Ibis Ride at risk of cancellation, administrators said.
For the past two weeks, Student Government representatives and administrators from the Dean of Student’s office have been monitoring the Thursday night shuttle, which runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and travels between the university and Coconut Grove.
The administration has been handing out palm cards with shuttle policies and hopes that extra efforts to inform students of rules will curb the number of violations.
“There have been more incidents in the last four weeks than in the last four years,” said Nanette Vega, an assistant dean of students.
Tonight is the last time there will be additional monitors at Stanford Circle before a committee convenes to discuss the rides future.
“There is no imminent threat of cancellation,” said Dean of Students Ricardo Hall, who rode the shuttle last Thursday. “But disrespecting the student monitors and drivers has to stop.”
In addition to disrespect, the palm card states other violations, which include drinking alcoholic beverages on the shuttle, vomiting, fighting and owning a fake ID.
Vega, who has been at the shuttle stop from 10 p.m. to midnight on Thursday for the last two weeks, said she doesn’t want to cancel the ride, but it may be necessary.
“Cancelling the shuttle is not our goal,” Vega said. “But we realize students are calling this the ‘drunk bus,’ and we don’t think students are being responsible.”
The shuttle is also monitored every Thursday by students who check Cane Cards. Recently, they have also been responsible for cleaning up beer cans and vomit, and some students have quit.
David Green, a freshman who started as a shuttle monitor this semester, said the number one violation by students is bringing alcohol on the bus. Still, he said that he hasn’t thought about quitting and he is “pushing for [the ride] to stay.”
“There’s a far greater number of students following policy and not causing a ruckus than there are students violating the policies,” Green said. “I think all students benefit from the services and I don’t want the shuttle taken away because of the mistakes of a couple people.”
The shuttle ride, originally proposed by then-SG President Michael Johnston in 2002, has been running for six years. Brandon Gross, who is starting his term as SG president today, has been trying to save the ride.
“It’s a great safe-ride program, and if we all act responsibly we’ll keep it,” said Gross, who has ridden the shuttle before. “We need to communicate that, ‘Yes, it’s at risk, but here’s what you can do to keep it.'”
Many students waiting for the shuttle on the Thursday after spring break expressed disappointment when they heard the ride might be canceled.
“I appreciate it, and it’s a good way to keep people safe,” said junior Michael Desanti. “I myself don’t ride it frequently, but I think people will be outraged if it’s canceled because I know they rely on it.”
Vega said she knows that many students will be disappointed if the shuttle is canceled, but she pointed out that the ride is “a privilege, not a right” and that many other colleges don’t even offer a safe-ride shuttle.
“This is our last-ditch effort,” she said. “Help us help you. If not, hundreds of students will just have to plan ahead with designated drivers or cabs.”
Karyn Meshbane may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is not the first time the shuttle has been scrutinized by the administration. Last spring there was also an increase in reported shuttle policy violations, and former SG President Danny Carvajal wrote a letter to the editor called “Grove fans: Ibis Ride is in trouble!”
How to follow shuttle rules:
Make sure you have a valid Cane Card
Cooperate with the student monitors if they ask for name and C-number
No beverages are allowed on the bus
Tell the student monitors if you are going to be ill, and they will provide vomit bags
Form a line to board the bus
– Courtesy of “Save the Ibis Ride” palm cards