UB students react to elimination of the “drunk bus”
Students share concern over recent changes to Stampede schedule
UB Council Representative Mike Brown feels the recent changes to the weekend bus schedule “completely blindsided” the student body.
On Aug. 9, university officials released an updated UB Stampede bus schedule that eliminates service from North Campus residence halls to South Campus after 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The last bus from South Campus to North Campus residence halls will be at 2:00 a.m.
UB Transportation Director Chris Austin believes this change will “significantly reduce” the number of students using the Stampede to go to “disruptive” parties on South Campus.
Brown, a junior computer science and political science major, thinks partying and underage drinking in the University Heights should be addressed. However, he does not feel eliminating a safe, reliable mode of transportation is the right approach.
“It is a perfectly legitimate concern residents have for wanting to improving the quality of life [in University Heights], but taking away a safe transportation options for students is completely the wrong approach,” Brown said.
Brown is especially concerned about freshmen who are on their own for the first time being stranded in the area around South Campus.
“Last year we had multiple armed robberies, a student was stabbed ... it is completely ridiculous to take away a safe ride home [from South Campus],” Brown said.
Brown believes increasing police presence and enforcing harsher consequences for disruptive students would be better solutions to the disruptive partying in the area.
Delaney Dupuy, a junior exercise science major, feels it is “unrealistic” to think reducing the bus schedule will stop students from partying.
“[Partying] is going to happen regardless, so you’re just making it more challenging for students to be safe,” she said.
Students who live on South Campus are also concerned about being able to get home safely from the 24-hour Silverman Library on North Campus during weekend nights. While the Yellow Line will continue to operate every half an hour all night on both Fridays and Saturdays, students are concerned that these buses will be overflowing with drunk partiers.
Mackenzie Depetrillo, a senior health and human services major, is afraid that students who want to party will move to the Flint Loop and still use the bus to access parties on south.
“The point of that [bus] is to reserve it for people who go to the library but do you think it’s hard for people to walk from Ellicott to Flint? It’s going to be full and people who are coming home from the library aren’t going to be able to get on,” Depetrillo said.
Depetrillo’s roommate, sophomore health and human services major Allie Ambrosio, is also concerned about the bus changes interfering with her study schedule.
“I shouldn’t have to be stressed about needing to do homework on the weekend because I can’t get home,” Ambrosio said.
SA President Leslie Veloz is “disappointed” with the university’s decision and feels it will put an unfair financial burden on students who already pay a $232.50 transportation fee per semester to have reliable transportation.
Brown feels the decision discriminates against low-income students, particularly because many low-income students choose to live in the University Heights area due to the many affordable housing options in the area.
“Yes, students could take an Uber or Lyft, but that’s beside the point because they already pay a transportation fee,” Brown said.
Junior biomedical engineering major Olive Smith thinks the bus schedule change is “very inconsiderate.”
“We already pay for [transportation], so what are you doing with the rest of our money if you’re cutting back the schedule?” Smith said.
Veloz feels the decrease in weekend busing will have a “detrimental” effect on the student body.
“The stampede is what allows for students to engage with their peers and unites all University at Buffalo campuses,” Veloz said. “By limiting the amount of busses that circulate on weekends, during the night, it not only puts our students at risk but further divides our student body and university.”
Maddy Fowler is the assistant features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org