Shuttle abuse has gone too far

Nancy Hall

I am greatly disturbed by the disgraceful acts of some Quinnipiac students while on-board the QU shuttles.

Last Thursday, Holly Pullano’s front page article talked about how students were ransacking the Dattco shuttles, tearing up seats and defiling the buses. That very same night, a large shuttle bound for New Haven returned to campus completely and utterly destroyed.

I was walking back from my class Friday afternoon through South Lot and saw the bus parked in the middle of the lot. Two men stood beside it, heatedly discussing the damage that had been done the previous night. As I stood at the shuttle stop to talk to a friend, the men came over to speak with the 25 to 30 students who sat waiting for a ride.

Ron Colavolpe, assistant chief for parking and transportation for Quinnipiac, and Justin Chasse, operations manager for the Shuttle and Transit Division of Dattco, detailed the happenings of the previous night to a group of unsuspecting students. They told of the horrors that had occurred on the bus, stating that it would take about $80,000 to repair the damage to that shuttle.

Colavolpe and Chasse even said that any student who wished to see the damage could go on the shuttle and look for themselves, but to hold their breath due to the intense smell of vomit. I offered to go inside the bus and photograph it for the Chronicle, but Colavolpe advised me against it due to the overwhelming stench.

This is an absolute disgrace. I spoke with these men afterwards, and I expressed my concern for the shuttle drivers to them.

The drivers are not here to serve as babysitters to students who feel like trashing things because they themselves are trashed.

Chasse did not know how his bosses would react upon seeing the destruction, especially since this was the third time something like this had occurred.

The shuttles are a service to help provide the students of Quinnipiac a safe ride to and from the New Haven area. This is not something that every university does for their students, but there are people here who do not seem to appreciate that fact. People like Colavolpe and the entire Security staff are genuinely concerned with our safety; that is why we have shuttles to start with.

I am from New York City, and I can tell you that if I was home and stayed out until about 2 a.m., I would not feel completely safe riding a city bus or the subway home alone.Something like the shuttle is a wonderful idea to me, and it makes me feel secure knowing that the school monitors the shuttle runs.

People do not seem to realize that the shuttle service is a privilege, not a right. What would you do if you did not have it? The shuttles ensure safety by not forcing students to take taxis, save you money because you do not have to pay per ride, and, most importantly, help to reduce drunk driving by providing a safe, alternative form of transportation.

After speaking with Colavolpe and Chasse, I realize that something must be done so that these horrific events are not repeated. We could use cameras to monitor bus activity, or have someone ride in the shuttles to act as a peacekeeper. Another thought is to arrange a ticketing procedure where a student would pick up a ticket for a particular shuttle and leave their name on a list so that Security would know who would be on each shuttle.

I think that our best bet would be to establish a Q-Card swipe system into the shuttles that would allow the school to know who was on the bus at any given time.

I do not know how plausible this would be, or how large the cost would be, but I do feel that something must be done if we hope to continue the shuttle service and renew our relationship with the Dattco company.

Students of Quinnipiac University, I urge you to respect yourselves as well as the shuttle system. Words cannot express the disappointment and utter disgust that I have toward those who are responsible for the damage to the shuttles.

They have given the Quinnipiac community a reputation as free-loading, unappreciative, vile slobs who do not care about anything other than their own amusement.

I would like to thank Ron Colavolpe, Justin Chasse, and everyone working for the Security department at Quinnipiac University and the Dattco bus company. Believe it or not, there are those of us here who appreciate the immense service that you do for us on a daily basis, and we will fight to ensure that others do not take this from us.