Ibis Ride returns this Thursday

The Ibis Ride shuttle to Coconut Grove will resume on Thursday night, but with a tough, new, one-strike-and-you’re-out policy in place.

Students who violate any of the regulations in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, including underage drinking, will be banned from riding the shuttle indefinitely and will likely face further sanctions, university officials said.

Last April, the Dean of Students Office canceled the Ibis Ride due to a high number of student infractions, including public drunkenness, fighting and disrespectful behavior to the student monitors who work on the shuttles.

The shuttle was nearly shut down the previous year because of behavior problems.

In the past, students who violated university rules were held accountable by the Dean of Students Office, but were allowed to continue using the shuttle.

Assistant Dean of Students Nanette Vega said last week that she hopes the new one-strike policy will encourage better behavior.

“Students need to realize that there are consequences to violating university policy,” Vega said.

All reports of infractions will be submitted by the student monitors to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary review.

Students who break university rules will have to meet with Vega. If they are found responsible, they will face sanctions such as fines, restrictions to privileges, and/or parental notification.

Since 2002, the Ibis Ride has been a useful means of getting to and from the Grove for students who live on campus, especially freshmen. Last year the university decided freshmen in the residence halls cannot park their cars on campus.

The shuttle operates on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but officials say Thursday nights are usually the most troublesome.

Freshman Bryn Frost said he looks forward to the Ibis Ride resuming.

“It hasn’t been an option for us so far,” Frost said. “People who didn’t go to the Grove before will probably go now.”

But while some see the service as helpful, others see it as a privilege that students should respect.

“I definitely feel like the school needs it,” Cameron Lloyd, a senior, said. “But if you can’t control yourself when you’re drunk on the bus, you shouldn’t be allowed to ride it.”

Vega said that if behavior problems continue on the Ibis Ride as in past years, the service will be permanently shut down.

“The Ibis Ride is a privilege, not a right,” Vega said. “The university is done saving the Ibis Ride. It is now up to the students to save it.”