Efforts Underway to Fund SafeRide For Daily Operations

Frostburg State University officials and the Student Government Association are working on a way to expand SafeRide’s operations throughout the week, due to concerns about safety in the community.

“Efforts are under way to expand SafeRide coverage throughout the week as a way to address and support students’ concern for safety,” said FSU spokesperson Liz Medcalf. “The plan, if all the pieces fall together, is to offer the extended coverage from Monday, April 25, to Wednesday, May 11 (the night before final exams begin). The cost will be shared by SGA and the University. They are working right now to ensure that staffing of drivers, team leaders and student organizations will be in place to cover the additional days.”

An email announcement will be made once the expanded hours are confirmed.

Normally, three SafeRide vans circulate the community Thursday evening through Saturday evening from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. This will remain unchanged, according to SGA President James Kirk.

The tentative plan is for SafeRide to operate during these same hours from Sunday evening through Wednesday evening, but with only two vans in use, Kirk said.

“Recognizing the concern of students regarding the recent strings of armed robberies around campus, the decision was made by SGA and the administration to come together to demonstrate the commitment to student safety by providing a safe mode of transportation for students throughout town on all evenings for the rest of the semester,” Kirk said.

SGA funds SafeRide using funds generated by the mandatory student activity fee.

The total anticipated cost is about $2,000, according to SGA Treasurer Nick DeMichele.

“We found in the SafeRide budget a surplus of around $1,000 that we can allocate to it,” DeMichele said, adding that it is normal for Safe Ride to have a surplus in the budget. Oftentimes, Safe Ride saves money from cancelling operations due to inclement weather in the winter.

SafeRide President Sam Lohff said that his organization does have the staff to support their increased operations. He said he did consider reaching out to the Echostars Volunteer Program for drivers, if the staff needed additional support.

“We have a small group that really wanted to step up and help students stay safe,” Lohff said. “We’re completely dedicated.”

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