A few weeks ago, I took the Quinnipiac shuttle into New Haven for a job interview. When finished, I waited at the corner of Temple and Chapel streets for two hours, in the span of which not one, but two shuttles had failed to make the stop to pick up Quinnipiac students, leaving me alone in New Haven.
I called Quinnipiac Security, desperate to be picked up and brought back to campus. Security told me I must have missed the bus and would have to wait for the next one, an hour later. When I tried to argue that I had been in the same spot for two hours, I was hung up on. Finally a shuttle was sent.
When we were within walking distance of the university, the bus driver suddenly turned around in a parking lot and brought me back to New Haven–claiming she had forgotten her other stops. At this point I was convinced that although the security office had insisted I “missed” the bus, obviously it was the other way around and the bus drivers had been missing their stops.
Enraged, I went back to my room to vent to my roommates. I expected some sympathy maybe, but what I didn’t expect was my roommate to shrug her shoulders and casually say, “Yup, happened to me three times last year.”
Isn’t the whole job description of security personnel to provide for the safety of the students? How am I supposed to feel safe when I have been abandoned in downtown New Haven, and the security office that I should be able to turn to hangs up on me because of my repeated calls? Anyone who’s had to wait in line for a shuttle into New Haven on a weekend night can attest to the fact that relations between students and security employees are strained.
They may think we’re a bunch of stuck-up, over-privileged punks, or sloppy messes who will probably barely be able to walk off that shuttle when we come back. Either way, their personal opinion of students should not take away from the fact that their job is to provide for our safety.
If not genuinely concerned for our safety, how about liability to worry about? College students are, for the most part, considered adults and responsible for their own actions. Students depend on the shuttle schedule as an accurate form of transportation to and from New Haven, and as such the university has a responsibility to stick to it.
If something were to ever happen to a student, such as an assault, or if a student went missing as a result of a mishap in the shuttle schedule, parents and contributors to the university are going to be on the witch hunt for someone to blame. You can be sure the first person attacked would be whoever is responsible for transportation, which happens to be the Office of Campus Security.
Campus administration can agree that there is nothing more dangerous to a university’s reputation than a scorned parent who feels that their child is in danger.
I like to think that after repeated complaints and concerns to the Security office, there may be a crackdown in shuttle dependency. If not, be wary of the next time you decide to board a university shuttle.