UB's decision to cut weekend busing irresponsible and short-sighted
Elimination of ‘drunk bus’ raises safety and financial concerns
On Aug. 9, the UB administration announced changes to the Fall 2017 weekend Stampede that reduces late-night busing between North and South campuses on Friday and Saturday nights.
While this change is primarily intended to decrease partying in the University Heights neighborhood, the reality is that students will always find a way to party. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a safe ride home, especially considering students already pay a $232.50 transportation fee per semester.
While Uber and Lyft are now options for students seeking a safe ride home, not all students can afford the fare. Students should have access to safe, reliable, univeristy issued transportation to get them home safely.
South Campus is a notoriously high crime area; last December a UB student was stabbed and frequent armed robberies have been reported. Students who may not even have been drinking could end up stranded in a dangerous, unfamiliar area. And students who cannot afford Uber or Lyft may resort to drunk driving because they cannot find any other ride home.
Eliminating the late night Stampede is simply not going to stop students from partying. Cutting back the Stampede schedule simply puts students’ safety at risk.
However, it is also unfair to students studying or working who need transportation between the two campuses.
While loud, disruptive partying as well as underage drinking and disorderly conduct in the University Heights neighborhood is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed, there are better ways to address these problems. Increased police presence and harsher penalties for inappropriate behavior – particularly on buses – should be enacted. Moreover, it is simply unfair to limit transportation options for students who are trying to get home safely from the library or work.
And realistically, it’s unlikely to lead to a drop in student partying; students will find a way to get to the parties one way or another. It simply is not an effective solution.
There are better solutions to the problems caused by students partying, but in order to reach them, a fully inclusive conversation needs to happen between administration, the Student Administration, students, bus drivers and University Heights residents.