With the new apartments and off campus living restrictions, next year will be a very different experience for seniors. While only 200 students will be allowed to live off-campus, the rest of the senior class will most likely reside in the senior apartments. There apartments are a great addition to Bucknell’s campus, but, there are several issues that need to be addressed. Overall, all of these issues would be solved by the installment on a nighttime shuttle bus.
Nightlife at Bucknell largely takes place downtown. A drunk driving problem may arise when the winter months come and students uphill are unwilling to walk downtown. Those of age will try to make it to the bars after having pregamed uphill, and then will face another problem when trying to make it home at night. A shuttle system would allow them to travel safely without the risk of harm to themselves or others.
In addition to this, we cannot deny that sexual assault is an issue on campus. A shuttle system would help deter any attacks that could take place late at night when individuals walk home. The bus would pick up students at popular locations downtown and make several stops around campus. These stops could potentially include, Zelda’s, Bull Run, The Mods, Gateways, McDonnell, and the Senior Apartments.
Last year, when two girls were walking home, they had an extremely dangerous encounter. In the downhill area around sixth street, the two women encountered a middle aged man armed with a gun. They immediately sprinted to safety, and the man was soon taken into custody. Some people say Bucknell is a bubble, but we cannot let our defenses down. People wander in and out of campus all the time, and there is always a risk for danger. A shuttle system could help students, who may have alcohol induced dulled senses, travel home safely.
Some may argue that a shuttle would be expensive. However, I do not believe you can put a price on safety. Bucknell students are the school’s top priority, and even if the shuttle just ran in the winter months, the potential for disaster could be greatly reduced.
Others may argue that our campus is small enough that a shuttle would be unnecessary. However, I can argue that a small walk can seem like a long journey in the brisk pennsylvania winter. Moreover, the rate of drunk driving is highest among twenty one year olds, and in 2011, fatal crashes were 4.5x higher at night than during the day. These stats speak for themselves.
For the reasons I listed, a shuttle system should not be a question, but an installment to be acted on as soon as possible.