UR administrators and students were shocked last Thursday night when students on board a bus from a bar party violated UR’s sense of security. The current bar party busing system must quickly change so that we can restore a balance of safety and fun.
UR has suspended busing students to and from bar parties, at least until a decision is reached by a panel composed of Dean of Students Matthew Burns, Dean of the College Richard Feldman and student leaders. Administrators were right to temporarily freeze bar parties the River Campus needs time to recuperate from and react to Thursday night’s events.
The panel’s first act should be to immediately set a deadline to come up with a final policy position. If that deadline was to come and a resolution were still absent, then policy should revert to the status quo from before the incident. This would be enough of an incentive for the panel to agree on a solution. Additionally, the panel should remain intact as a supervisory group to gauge the effect of the new policy.
Permanently discontinuing busing to bar parties from River Campus is not the answer. Non-Students’ Association sponsored groups will continue to throw bar parties, the only differences being that they would go to a third-party company and load the buses off campus. The supervision UR has worked to maintain at these events, either by imposing security or through other policy improvisations, would become virtually nonexistent. Moreover, there would be a possibility of an increase in drunk driving.
The key to a successful new policy is changing the atmosphere at the bus stops. One way of accomplishing this is by requiring a certain number of buses per student attendance. Thus, if the sponsor of the party is expecting to fill two full buses, mandate three. Boost the number of buses at peak hours. That way, students are given personal space on the way to bars, a necessity in keeping tempers down when dealing with intoxication.
The panel must strive to find a way to alter the present social climate. The safety of students cannot be compromised, and the current system calls safety into question each time there is a bar party.