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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Safe Ride revamps evaluation, expands boundaries

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The UA is striving to keep students safe and secure by altering Safe Ride practices and maintaining communication with students via social media and technology to broadcast alerts.

Safe Ride has vamped up its evaluation process to ensure students have a safer drive this academic year, according to Adam Klever, administrative director of ASUA Safe Ride and a senior studying chemistry and Spanish. Safe Ride has also expanded its boundaries so that students can also use the service to get to El Con Mall.

“Our main goal is to get students safely from one place to another,” Klever said. “Yes, our boundaries are Country Club [Road] and Broadway [Boulevard], but so many students want to go to Target and the [El Con] mall and a lot of them end up walking there, so we thought we would open that up.”

The service is funded by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the student services fee and a grant from the Parents and Family Association. Safe Ride is typically used by students who simply need a ride across campus, Klever said. Occasionally students will call because they are scared, he added.

“I think we contribute really well to the safety on-campus, because if you need a ride, there is a way to get one,” Klever said. “This past Friday I was working for the football game and I picked up a freshman girl who was scared and didn’t know how to get back to her dorm. It’s times like that where it was nice to know that she felt safe.”

Besides Safe Ride, the UA offers other safety programs, such as UAlert, which delivers emergency alerts to registered students and parents, and the UA Campus Emergency Response Team, which meets with UA officials to ensure everyone at the UA is updated on what is going on with emergencies. UA CERT is allied with UAlert.

UA CERT has made it a priority to prevent emergencies rather than recover from them, according to Brian Seastone, the commander for UAPD and manager of emergency preparedness. The campus is a much safer environment when the university is actively working to prevent crises from occuring and notifying students promptly in the event of an emergency.

Last year was the first year that students had to opt out of UAlert instead of opting in, according to Melissa Vito, vice president for Student Affairs. This resulted in more students receiving breaking information about emergencies on campus straight to their cell phones and email accounts.

“We approach safety from multiple areas,” Vito said. “It’s looking at other behaviors that can make you unsafe and preventing those. Campus health, residence halls and alcohol prevention are other units that enforce and promote safety.”

Social media and networking are prominent in the lives of many UA students, according to Tricia Don, the coordinator of special projects for Student Life. As the UA makes use of the popularity of social media at the university, safety information is now more accessible than ever, Vito said.

-Follow Emily Bregger @ebregger_news

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