Safe Ride Begins Charging Fee
In a curve-ball type of announcement at this semester’s first Student Government Association meeting, Vice President of Finance Patrick Webb announced that, effective immediately, Safe Ride would be implementing a fee.
Webb said that while the first two rides would be free, student accounts will begin getting charged from the third ride going forward. Additionally, an extra clean-up fee may be charged if there is damage done to the car. This likely stems from previous issues with broken windows and vomiting in the cars.
The announcement prompted a mixed reaction through the room full of club presidents, and the wave of discontent is making its way through the general student population.
“It may discourage people (especially freshman) who need Safe Ride but are worried about getting in trouble with their family,” FSC Student Briana Brander said.
Webb added that students may appeal charges with Student Accountability if they used Safe Ride for a legitimate emergency, which FSC student Austin Maheu is okay with.
“The safe ride thing is important, and should be free, but I also feel like adding the cleanup fee makes sense,” Maheu said.
There are similar Safe Ride services on different college campuses across the country, but none of them advertise charging for rides. Washington College runs their own Safe Ride program right out of the student body. In a statement on their website, this “protects Washington College students from potential physical or verbal harassment from non-students.”
Brander offered an alternative solution to the charges.
“I think the school needs to step up their safety game more, not put in regulations that could have bad consequences. Maybe instead if someone uses it more than three times in a semester they should have to speak to a counselor or attend a alcohol safety workshop.”
Other students interviewed, such as Stephanie Aubertin, felt the new policy is “wrong and counterproductive,” explaining that it could discourage people from using the service when it’s needed. The clean up fee seemed to be the only thing about the policy students were okay with.
The full announcement made at SGA can be heard below.