Imagine it?s Wednesday afternoon and you?re hungry. You?re already out of food from your weekly shopping trip aboard the UR Special. You?re tired of eating Pit food, sick of standing in line at Douglass and you just don?t have that Danforth feeling.
The Corner Store doesn?t carry what you?re looking for and you don?t have a car. Looks like you?re out of luck, right?
Not if the Students? Association Senate Services Committee has its way.
For the next two Wednesdays, the committee plans to test an additional day of UR Special bus service to Marketplace Mall, Marketplace Wegmans and K-Mart.
The bus will stop at both CLARC and the Graduate Living Center and will run about every 30 minutes from 4 to 11 p.m.
The Students? Association Appropriations Committee approved funding of $580 for the two-week proposal Tuesday night.
If the test finds a high level of student demand for the busing service, the hope is that SAAC will continue funding the bus into the future, said George Morrison, assistant director of programming for the Student Activities Office.
The idea has been considered for several years, but was finally put into motion this year.
?I happened upon the idea myself when I needed something from the mall one Monday and realized there was no way for me to get there until Saturday with out bumming a ride from one of my suitemates,? said Class of 2002 Senator Megan Hannon, chair of the services committee. ?I take the Saturday Special every weekend and it?s nearly always packed.?
The Wednesday bus will not be servicing all the venues of the Saturday route. The regular run includes stops to Movies 10, The Distillery, The Elmwood and several locations on campus.
?Obviously, it?s a widely used service and it gets people out and doing something off campus, so why not run it more than once during the week? The more people I talked to about the idea, they more I saw how welcome it would be,? Hannon said.
Junior, committee member and Towers senator Ashley Conner agreed with Hannon?s assessment.
?We thought that it might be nice to add another day so that students can have more opportunities to get off campus and get the things they need during the week,? Conner said.
?It seemed to us that once a week might be too infrequent to serve the needs of everyone and we picked the time from 4 to 11 p.m. because it was in the middle of the week,? she said.
Increased bus service has been tried in the past when Sunday buses were offered to Eastview Mall to give students increased holiday shopping options, Morrison said.
?It didn?t work very well because of low publicity,? he said. ?This time, we hope to change that.?
It is the first time the SA has tried to increase bus service in the middle of the week, Morrison said.
Hannon believes the benefits of such an increase to be far-reaching.
?I think the real benefit is an escape from campus for all of us who don?t have cars and feel bad asking our friends for rides all the time,? Hannon added. ?It also means that large groups of friends can go out together at the same time for a study break without squeezing into a small vehicle.?
It will give this students without cars another option for less expensive food, she said.
Junior and SA President Meng Wang praised their work, calling it ?the most tangible student-serving thing that has come out of the Students? Association in a good few months.?
Times for the Wednesday route have not yet been finalized. They will be published in Tuesday?s Buzz and on the SA Web site at www. sa.rochester.edu.
The SA Senate created the services committee earlier this semester by to review services offered by UR.
?The goal was simple,? said senior and SA Speaker Damon Dimmick. ?It was to identify where students needs weren?t being met and to see if could suggest changes in whatever ways necessary.?
It is made up of both senators and non-senators to ensure a diverse representation of the student body, he said.
Hannon said the committee doesn?t plan to stop with just the bus, Hannon said. It hopes to complete plans for a on-campus video rental store, a 24-hour dining option for campus, improvement to the cable package channel selection and more options for learning disabled students.
Members of the committee plan to poll the student body next Tuesday as part of the senate?s ?Whatcha Want? campaign to determine other areas of service students want examined.
Those interested in joining the committee or offering insight should contact Hannon at mh002h@mail.