Take me home tonight

By the

February 8, 2001

Last week a Georgetown student was robbed at gunpoint just three blocks off-campus at 9:30 p.m. While this is an extremely alarming crime, it also brings into question what steps the University is taking to protect students’ safety, especially in regard to the SafeRides service.
According to the Department of Public Safety, the SafeRides service offers students a free ride from campus to their destination, which is presumably home. It operates from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday nights and from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday nights. These are ideal times for the service to run because they represent the times students most often need to get a ride home. However, most students are not able to utilize the service due to the long waiting times.
DPS says that one six-to-eight passenger van is allocated to the service, with a car occasionally on duty to back it up. Since SafeRides covers such a large area, from Prospect Street to Whitehurst Parkway, and Foxhall Road to Wisconsin Avenue, the wait time for the service can be extremely long, which ultimately discourages students from using it. Students compromise their safety when they decide to walk home rather than continue to wait the 45 minutes to an hour that it can take for the van to show up.
The University needs to re-evaluate its focus on student safety and invest in at least one more van, if not more, for the SafeRides service. With more students moving off-campus due to housing regulations, the demand for the service will likely grow. And the increase in crimes near campus serves as a warning: the administration should take action before something extremely serious happens rather than adopting a reactionary policy and waiting until it’s too late.

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