From the Desks of Corey and Becca

Author: Corey Robinson and Rebecca Blais

From the Desks of Corey and Becca

Student Body President and Vice President Announce New SafeWalk Program

For our administration, student safety on campus is a top priority. It is our duty to our fellow students to do whatever possible to provide a safe environment on and off campus — an environment that allows for learning, personal growth and fun to flourish unhindered by concern for one’s safety. The first six weeks of school are commonly referred to as the “red zone” due to raised risks of sexual and physical assault, and during this time, we must be prepared to watch out for our peers. Therefore, during this critical time, we have partnered with NDSP to permanently rebrand O’SNAP (Student Night-Time Auxiliary Patrol) to SafeBouND. The new program, SafeBouND, will offer escorted golf cart rides Sunday through Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and walking escorts Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

Previously, O’SNAP was sometimes used as a “party shuttle” by students going to or coming back from on and off-campus parties, thereby diluting its true purpose of attending to student safety needs. Instead of a safe ride, students were using O’SNAP for a free ride. To address those concerns, we believed a multi-faceted approach would have to be taken to reform the system. First and foremost, we wanted to go back to the basics: student safety. Very few people knew what O’SNAP stood for, so we rebranded it to SafeBouND. Having “safe” in the name places a bold emphasis on the mission of the service as a resource for student safety. Next, we modified the hours to be closer to parietals. Data for student ridership reflected that the most critical times for the shuttle service to be used were closer to parietals. The later into the night, the more likely the shuttle service was being used as a party ride. Finally, we implemented an escorted walking program during the weekend. The restructured walking program was in response to the data from last year’s 16,000 requested rides on the weekends alone. The data as well as the driver experiences reflected concerns of driver safety and heavy weekend service abuse. We believe the escorted walking program will deter partygoers from abusing SafeBouND as a free ride while making sure students who feel unsafe get back to their dorms safe and sound.

Through the rebranding, we hope that the students who need the service most will have better access to it. To address off-campus safety, we are currently in talks with two exciting programs. We can’t announce anything yet, as nothing is finalized. We believe that the introduction of these two new programs will perfectly complement SafeBouND and create an all-encompassing, safe environment for all students. In the meantime, help us create a safe environment on campus. Be sure to let your friends and roommates know that there is a student safety shuttle program available to Notre Dame and St. Mary’s students. Additionally, students may at any time receive an escort from a Notre Dame Security Police officer. It is our shared duty to protect those we love, and no student will ever be turned away. We are all committed to ensuring the safety of our friends, classmates and dorm mates. If you have any questions, please visit us in 203 LaFortune or shoot us an email at studegov@nd.edu.

 

In Notre Dame,

Corey Robinson, Student Body President

Becca Blais, Student Body Vice President