Freshmen granted early express shuttle access

Freshmen will be able to take the express shuttles into New Haven beginning the week of Sept. 8, Student Body President Mostafa Elhaggar announced at Wednesday’s Student Government Association meeting.

The university will also run 13 express shuttles to New Haven this weekend, as it has in previous years, Elhaggar said. Last weekend, only eight shuttles brought students to New Haven from the Mount Carmel and York Hill campuses.

Since there were fewer shuttles, students waited in New Haven longer before returning to campus. Many freshmen also chose to take taxis into New Haven.

Over the weekend 1,100 students boarded the shuttles to New Haven from campus; however, on the return that number increased to more than 2,000.

“There was a lot more students coming back and there was a shortage of shuttles, creating a lot of hostility between students trying to get on,” Elhaggar said. “It was basically like survival of the fittest, trying to find a spot on the shuttle.”

Elhaggar said the university had the students’ safety in mind when making this decision at a meeting on Wednesday.

“They’re really concerned with that,” he said. “Their priority is to make sure that we can get to New Haven and come back safely.”

He did express his concern to the members of SGA that along with this change, students should be respectful on the shuttles. At one point over the weekend a Public Safety officer was hit, Elhaggar said.

“Be mindful on the shuttles and be respectful because they’re doing this for us, they brought it back for us,” Elhaggar said. “They were responsive to our concerns.”

Elhaggar attended the meeting with Executive Vice President and Provost Mark Thompson, Chief of Public Safety David Barger, Deputy Chief of Public Safety Ed Rodriguez, Vice President of Facilities and Capital Planning Salvatore Filardi, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Monique Drucker and Associate Vice President of Operations Terri Johnson.