SGA continues work on safe rides program

Taylor Harrison

Things aren’t looking good for Provide-A-Ride.

The Student Government Association will be working to organize the program and raise money for next year, but officials say the program likely won’t be available this semester.

Chief of Staff Katie Stillwell said that negotiating a safe-rides program is going to be the “first and foremost” priority of the semester. Even though Stillwell said having a program may not be feasible at this time, it is something they will be working on throughout the semester.

If SGA can’t put Provide-A-Ride back en route this semester, Stillwell said they would like to still have an alcohol awareness program or something similar.

SGA started negotiations last semester but haven’t been successful in finding a contract. They will continue negotiations and talking to different companies.

Jennifer Tougas, director of Parking and Transportation, said the current status of the Provide-A-Ride program is as they left it at the end of last semester.

Tougas said that Parking and Transportation sent SGA a proposal regarding the service.

This proposal projected a fixed route service and also listed the estimated cost of the service. Parking and Transportation would provide the transportation service rather than hiring an outside car service.

Tougas also said Parking and Transportation has not heard back from SGA about the proposal.

SGA has to find something “fiscally responsible,” Stillwell said.

Stillwell also said SGA doesn’t have the same kind of funding for the program as they have had in previous years.

Last semester, the SGA budget took a hit when $15,000 was taken out for services rendered from the previous year’s Provide-A-Ride program.

Administrative Vice President Devon Hilderbrandt said that despite that loss, this semester’s budget shouldn’t be affected.

Hilderbrandt said that if the current SGA organizes it this semester, the new SGA administration in the fall will have it set up and ready to go for students.

“It won’t be hurting this semester’s budget just because I tried to split the money evenly between the two semesters so we’d have enough to use on Org Aid and scholarships,” Hilderbrandt said.

Hilderbrandt organizes the budget this way so that SGA is able to help students throughout the entire school year, he said.

“The $15,000 was a huge hit, and it was hard to have to pay that, but sometimes accidents happen,” Hilderbrandt said.

“It’s a new semester and a new year, and SGA is ready to do the best that it can.”