Group formed to seek student input on shuttle routes

Amy Hamblin

A new student advisory group aimed at incorporating more studentinput into the campus shuttle routes has been formed and could meetlater this month to evaluate the new routes, a Northwesternofficial said Thursday.

The new group is part of the Campus Safety and Crime PreventionCommittee and will submit student comment to administrators, saidDebra Garfi, senior manager of Support Services.

Garfi , who will head the shuttle subcommittee, said the groupcould prompt changes to the routes for next fall.

She currently is finalizing a list of committee members thatcould include representatives from Associated Student Government,the Residence Hall Association and the Student Escort Service.

Changes made to the shuttle routes went into effect April 12 andare intended to respond to students’ needs by covering more areasoff campus. But some off-campus students continue to expressdiscontent about the new routes.

“Right now there’s no mechanism for students to give compiledinput to the director of shuttle services,” said Alex Lurie, ASGstudent services vice president. “There’s credible disconnectbetween the students and the shuttle service.”

Lurie, the only confirmed subcommittee member, will representASG along with an unnamed off-campus senator.

He said that last month he approached Vice President for StudentAffairs William Banis with concerns that the shuttle service wasn’treceptive to student needs.

Banis, who could not be reached for comment, currently heads theCampus Safety and Crime Prevention Committee.

Lurie, a Communication sophomore, said Banis told him that healready was forming a subcommittee focused on the shuttleservice.

According to Lurie, Banis agreed to a one-year trial run for thesubcommittee. The group will meet at least once per quarter, whichis how often the larger committee meets.

Before changes were made to the route this quarter, Garfi polledstudents about the shuttle. The new subcommittee will conductsimilar online surveys to gather student input in a more systematicand regular manner.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Angelo Mancini, a Weinbergsophomore. “I don’t see why administrators won’t listen to thecommittee if it’s geared for students, and administrators have themoney.”

Until the subcommittee meets, Lurie has created a temporarygroup within ASG to start changes. The group will try to reinstallshuttle signs in Evanston, Lurie said, and will also post routemaps in dorms and other NU buildings.

“Right now escort is taxed, they’ve got a lot of clientele,”Lurie said. “A goal for the university is to shift the clientelefrom the Escort Service to the shuttle service, making sure theescort is the safety service and the shuttle is the taxiservice.”