The Student Government Association’s “Respect Your Ride” campaign was a positive reaction to DATTCO’s supposed threats to cancel its shuttle contract with the university. Acts of public indecency in New Haven have finally come to light, and even though the threats turned out to be untrue, they snapped us all back to reality. Students might have believed that our Saturday night slip-ups were sneaking under the radar, but clashes with security and the New Haven Police Department have finally shown Quinnipiac students in the rare form we always knew we were capable of being.
The notion that the shuttle is a privilege and not a right is valid, and despite the recent miscommunication regarding the shuttle contract between DATTCO and the university, how students behave in New Haven and on the buses is still a concern.
For one, this isn’t just an issue of ensuring that students have a fun college experience — it’s about safety, too. The shuttle seriously limits drunk driving, and no one wants to see students resorting to driving themselves 25 minutes back from New Haven after a night of heavy drinking. Most students are smart and can find a way there with their groups of friends to take turns as designated drivers. But, there are those times where no one wants to sacrifice their Saturday night for sobriety.
On another note, these acts of public indecency, including public urination, would be more preventable if students and security guards working the shuttle lines cooperated more often. The shuttles aren’t exactly timely, and this has a lot to do with the organization of the process as a whole.
This past Saturday the shuttle stop was chaos, and the number system became more obsolete by the second. Packs of people pushing and fighting their way to get on a shuttle was not, and never is effective, and it also gives the security guards a reason to be more fed up with the student body. If the shuttle system was more organized, the process of getting home would be faster, thus eliminating the need for students to insensibly relieve themselves by the nearest tree.
Also, I don’t always appreciate the way security guards deal with these situations. Yes, many students are inebriated and unable to act rationally. But there are exceptions to that rule every weekend. Security guards don’t feel obligated to answer questions concerning the shuttle, and speaking from experience, brush many of us off as drunken fools who don’t deserve to know what number is next or when another shuttle is arriving.
I, and many others, can control myself and lucidly work with superiors to ease an already frustrating process. Many of us will always try and listen to the directions from authorities. But the lack of respect from who is higher up makes this difficult, and participating in indecent acts much more tempting.
With that said, students should undoubtedly be respecting their ride as much as possible. It is a privilege, and a beneficial one at that. No one wants to see any DATTCO debate resurface, or the elimination of a shuttle service actually come to fruition. After all, New Haven encompasses the Quinnipiac University nightlife experience.
But it’s also a matter of respecting yourself. I am not always ashamed of my fellow students or myself for what goes on in New Haven. Tickets from the NHPD are not reputable or ideal, and I don’t view the latest occurrences as a blemish on the student body as a whole. But, I think it can damage individual integrity.
Learning and understanding personal drinking tolerance may take all four years, but making smart decisions when it comes to being in a territory not our own should come naturally after a while. New Haven is not our personal playground, and the shuttle is not a dump truck.
I know from experience that we all make decisions that we wish we hadn’t, where we drink too much and lose the ability to make reasonable decisions concerning our health, appearance and actions. But my main concern is that we don’t care what our peers think of us, and those we associate with on a daily basis. Think about how those you have to spend another few semesters with are going to view you before you deface a shuttle or property that isn’t yours.
Try to think ahead to the next morning when you wake up and look in the mirror, only to see your face change with regret when you remember that wasn’t a toilet you regurgitated in the night before – and who saw it happen.