Tuesday, October 6, 2009

UPUA Proposed Bus Loop

"Penn State students who need a ride after a night out on Fraternity Row might soon be able to take a bus back to their dorms." Wow. Wouldn't this have been a savior a few weeks ago. This is the lede sentence of an article written last April of 2008 by Daily Collegian writer Kevin Cirilli about a proposed bus route that would aid fraternities goers in getting home safely at night. Frat goers like Penn State freshman Joseph Dado. After a night of partying at fraternities and (to be fair) elsewhere, he was tragically found in a stairwell on a Monday night this semester. Today in the Daily Collegian, another article by Laura Nichols talks about UPUA president Gavin Keirans' proposal of another, slightly modified, bus route (left) that will also aid frat goers in returning to their beds safe and sound. In my opinion, the reappearance of this issue is in response to the incident I mentioned above. Am I saying that its UPUA's fault this happened for not getting the route approved? NO! Especially because the old route doesn't include a West Campus leg like the new route does that would scoop up on-campus frat goers. (For those of you who don't know, the incident I spoke of occurred near an on-campus frat). Also, I applaud Keirans for keeping his word on the issue and pursuing it some more. It is a great idea but could have some draw backs.

The obvious reasons to have a "Greek Route" would be to increase the likelihood of frat goers getting home safely. Not even a point of conversation, freshmen are the majority of non-members attending frat parties. With only the finest Natural Lights and shots of Vladimir practically being thrown at you when your a young buck on campus, it is very easy to get into trouble. The route would greatly reduce the risk of party goers wandering home drunk and wandering right into trouble. With the route, it would also be very easy to wander right out on to Fairmount Avenue or South Garner, right onto a bus, and right into your Twin XL bed in your dorm room. I'm not singling out the younger students at PSU who are in dorms, but the proposed route obviously benefits those living in East and West Halls traveling to and from the frats. The loop would keep students safe from the obvious threats of injuries and underages as well as other problem that arise. Greek Route would run off campus, into State College, it would cut down on vandalism to homes as well as help to eliminate on-campus vandals.

Aside from the initial costs to set up the route, the Greek Route would cut down the university's cost for police and security around the frat area. Of course, it wouldn't wipe out the need for officers but with the increased traffic through the area it would deter students from doing anything that could harm themselves or their surroundings, eventually reducing the need for law enforcement. I don't know the numbers for the cost of maintaining the loop, but less cops couldn't be a bad thing right?

The only one here has already been voiced by Keirans: having the ability of safe transportation without the fear of repercussions could encourage bad behavior. An extra couple of shots couldn't hurt, right? as long as you have a safe ride home? False. Hopefully that isn't the mentality of our students. The loop is provided to help the party-goers, not allow them to get even crazier. Slipping in a "
Pro" here: Greek life has a traditionally negative connotation, with time, this proposed idea could help improve their image in the Penn State community.

Like I was saying before, I hope that the mentality of my classmates isn't that this will provide an opportunity to become more reckless. I also hope that the tragic event surrounding Joseph Dado teaches the Penn State community something. Not that we shouldn't drink, as many have suggested, to honor his death. Stress relief is an important part of college life. In my opinion, having the #1 party school in the country isn't something to be downplayed. Why can't our administration contrast our outstanding academics with that fact that our students also know how to enjoy ourselves! Coming back to Dado, wouldn't it be something if as a student body, we attended one less party a night, had a couple less drinks, and made sure none of us leaves alone when we've been drinking a lot. Keirans is doing his part by making sure that even if we have too much to drink we can get home safely. Now it's our turn, go out and be crazy, but do it with a fraction more responsibility, we will all be in better shape!

Stay classy Happy Valley,

Mike Donchez

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