ASG Senate asks Northwestern to revoke SafeRide change


Annabel Edwards/Daily Senior Staffer

Medill sophomore Haley Hinkle proposes legislation requesting the University revoke the policy denying students the option to use SafeRide between two off-campus locations. ASG voted on the legislation and passed it immediately Wednesday evening.

Rebecca Savransky, Campus Editor

Associated Student Government discussed and passed legislation at Wednesday night’s Senate meeting requesting the University revoke a new SafeRide policy which prevents students from using the service between two off-campus locations.

The policy, instituted on the first day of Spring Quarter, received student body attention resulting in a petition, which accumulated more than 450 signatures as of Wednesday night.

(SafeRide releases TapRide app, changes ride policy)

In the legislation, Senate asked NU show greater transparency and increased communication when making decisions impacting students campus-wide. Senators requested the University reinstate off-campus to off-campus rides until further options are created to give students alternative means of safe transportation.

“It wasn’t communicated with students beforehand, so as soon as we got back from Spring Break, we found out that there were no more off-campus to off-campus SafeRide options,” said Communication senior Anna Kottenstette, ASG vice president for student life.

Kottenstette said SafeRide is aiming to address the problem of long wait times with the change. In the past, the average wait time has been about 40 minutes and since the new policy was instituted, it decreased to about 15 minutes, she said.

Medill sophomore Haley Hinkle, ASG’s director of transportation, emphasized the need for the University to discuss policy changes with students prior to implementing them. She said after meeting with SafeRide officials last quarter, she was given no indication this change would be made, however since the policy addition, she has been in contact with SafeRide coordinator Bernard Foster. Hinkle said it was important the University look into all transportation options across campus to ensure students living and traveling off-campus have safe choices.

Senate fast-tracked the proposal, moving it from new business to old business, and immediately voted to lend its support.

Candidates were also nominated and voted on for speaker and parliamentarian. Weinberg sophomore Noah Star was confirmed as the next speaker and will replace Weinberg senior Katie Funderburg. Star, who has been a senator for about a year, said he “started to feel more comfortable” in ASG through his work on the public relations committee.

“I really learned about the nitty-gritty details of ASG which made me feel more confident that I had an opinion that was worthwhile and worth presenting to the Senate body,” Star said. “I’m passionate about Senate, I have ownership in Senate and I want to take that passion and allow you guys to feel that type of passion if you don’t have it already.”

Weinberg junior Petros Karahalios was elected to the position of parliamentarian. Karahalios will take over for McCormick senior Abby Klearman. He said during his time in Senate, he has been involved in a variety of different issues and is passionate about the work he has contributed. He currently serves as senator for Rainbow Alliance.

“I got a lot of experience with what it means to be on the parliamentary body,” Karahalios said. “I think that I bring a lot to the table in terms of this position and in terms of preparedness and in terms of experience and ability to execute and passion.”

Star and Karahalios will be sworn in at next week’s Senate.

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