The Voice: Policy should foster safety, not create risks
The SHUFLY shuttle has been so crowded this year that students have been turned away. The Setonian believes, for the safety of the students, this issue must be resolved.
The Setonian reported in our Sept. 9 issue that Assistant Vice President of Public Safety and Security Patrick Linfante wonders why he sees students getting passed by the SHUFLY as they walk along South Orange Avenue. Hopefully, this week’s page 5 article sheds light on why students sometimes walk to and from locations in town: there might not be enough room on the shuttle for them. The Setonian finds the position senior Jessica Noto and four other students were in on Saturday, Sept. 18 significantly troublesome. Noto said they barred from riding the SHUFLY back from the Livingston Mall after the mall had closed because the shuttle would have been over capacity. They were left to find an alternate means of transportation back to campus on their own. Noto and the four other students were forced to call security and wait in the parking lot of the closed mall for 45 minutes until the CASE van arrived. Linfante can complain that students do not take advantage of services that will help protect them from falling victims to crime, but the University should not systematically create policies that result in students being left at risk. When students rely upon University services such as the SHUFLY, the University should not assume that every student has Public Safety’s number saved in their phone in case the SHUFLY turns them away. In fact, the CASE van is not even supposed to transport people from an off-campus location to campus. As a result, many students may not realize the CASE van is an option, because, per University policy, it shouldn’t be. Linfante, Public Safety and Security and the University need to reevaluate how the services they offer impact students and if they actually help protect them. Linfante said in the Sept. 9 story that he does not understand why students do not make use of University services. The demand for the SHUFLY service exceeds its current capacity. Students are turned away, giving them a poor impression of the service, and discouraging them from using the shuttle in the future. The University needs to resolve this issue if they are to maximize the safety of the students. Simple, common sense solutions for the University to conside inlude providing a second weekend shuttle would help to address overcrowding and provide students greater flexibility in their scheduling. Another option could be a separate shuttle, possibly with a higher capacity, for direct routes from campus to the Livingston Mall or Target and the current shuttle for “local” stops.