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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    SafeRide to make UA campus safer with grant

    Technology, vehicles and the number of SafeRide employees will increase next semester courtesy of a $26,680 grant funded by the University of Arizona Parents Association.

    The grant will fund equipment upgrades and safety programs, said Eric Bareiss, executive director of SafeRide.

    SafeRide will use the money to purchase a new golf cart, a van and two 19-inch flat panel monitors that will allow dispatchers to direct drivers more quickly. The grant will also allow SafeRide to hire five additional employees to add to their staff of 30 people, said Bareiss, an economics senior.

    “”There is always a demand for our service, and with that, a demand for increased technology,”” said Peter Reifsteck, a political science senior and administrative director for SafeRide, who has worked for SafeRide as a dispatcher for more than two years. “”Unfortunately, there is only so much that we can do with the resources available to us.””

    SafeRide, an Associated Students of the University of Arizona student-run program, has provided nearly 14,000 free rides for students on or near campus this semester, said Jami Reinsch, administrative vice president for ASUA.

    “”The numbers of students who use SafeRide has increased by the thousands this year,”” said Reinsch, a media arts senior. “”It was important for us to receive this grant in order to expand our services.””

    Bareiss said SafeRide will be offering more services in addition to free rides to promote safety on campus this year.

    SafeRide will kick off a new library safety program Nov. 29. The new program will place two SafeRide employees at both the Main Library and Science-Engineering Library to walk the perimeters in an effort to increase safety, Bareiss said.

    The grant money will also fund a paid weekly campus safety column in the Arizona Daily Wildcat that will provide safety tips for students, he said.

    The UA Parents Association provides grant money each year to projects benefiting UA students. Projects funded by the UA Parents Association include the Student Union Gallery and Endowment, the UA Libraries’ Information Commons Endowment and student scholarships, according to the Parents Association Web site.

    “”They give money to organizations that help the most number of undergraduate students at the UA,”” Bareiss said. “”This year we applied and got almost everything that we asked for.””

    CatsRidde, an extension of SafeRide that operates throughout the weekend, will not receive funding from the grant money, Reinsch said.

    SafeRide operates from 6:30 p.m to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p. m. Friday. Students can call SafeRide at 621-SAFE.

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