By Maegan White
Elm Staff Writer
In an email sent to the school on Tuesday, Oct. 4, it was announced that Safe Ride operations would be returning this year. In addition to the typical responsibilities of Safe Ride, the program will now also coordinate DayTrippers.
Safe Ride is a student-run shuttle service that operates on weekend evenings. Since Chestertown does not have any public transportation, the service offers a safe option for students who need transportation late at night on the weekends.
Safe Ride was not functioning between March 2020 and November 2021 and last year’s operations were sporadic, leaving the club with no leadership this year.
Student Government Association President senior Alex May was tasked with helping revitalize the Safe Ride Program as the SGA has been a strong partner and advocate for student transportation in the past.
In 2020, SGA signed a contract with the Vice President of Student Affairs Sarah Feyerherm and former Safe Ride Advisor Candance Wannamaker stating SGA’s commitment to support the program. SGA committed to support Safe Ride financially by providing $5,728 for five years.
In addition to financial support, May was involved in the hiring of the new Safe Ride executive board at the beginning of this semester.
Although the contract only outlines the financial support for Safe Ride, May said that transportation is a student issue and required additional support from the SGA.
“Over the COVID-19 pandemic, the Safe Ride program went down as students were not on campus and didn’t have the need for transportation. Now that we are back in the full swing of things, putting leadership back on the team and getting the program revitalized is crucial for campus life” May said. “As the SGA we have the duty to help the current Safe Ride board with revitalizing the program and giving them the resources they need to succeed.”
Sophomore Marcelina Lewis was selected as the new Director of Safe Ride and said that the program already has goals for the semester.
“We are trying to work back into a baseline of operations,” Lewis said. “For the fall, I want to get back to a strong consistent baseline running Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. Later in the semester, my ambitious plan would be to start running routes during the week to run to ACME, Redners, [and] into town.”
This year, Safe Ride will also be expanding to include the DayTrippers program. According to May, this program was created by the Student Affairs office last year but both parties agreed it would be most productive for Safe Ride to take over the DayTrippers program.
Freshman Keegan Enzor was hired as the new Director of the DayTrippers program. According to Lewis, he will coordinate weekend day trips to different locations including Annapolis, Md., Middletown, Del., and Newark, Del.
Additionally, since DayTrippers are still funded by Student Affairs, Enzor will also serve as the liaison between Safe Ride and Student Affairs.
Enzor said that the biggest obstacle for him this year is that not many students are familiar with the DayTrippers Program. His main task will be raising awareness around campus about the program.
“My position is mainly advertising, getting the word out there, sending out polls to see what the students are interested in doing, and I will work directly with the drivers to make sure trips go smoothly,” Enzor said.
The first DayTrippers program occurred on Saturday, Oct. 14 with a trip to the Westfield Annapolis Mall in Annapolis, Md. This is the first of many trips according to Enzor, who is currently seeking student input on future DayTripper locations.
Lewis said that she was excited to be working on revitalizing Safe Ride because of its necessity on campus to ensure student safety.
“Safe Ride is a really important safety net for students,” Lewis said. “Whatever the case may be, if you are out late at night and for whatever reason you need a ride home, we are there to make sure students don’t make riskier decisions then they need to.”
Safe Ride is currently hiring drivers at $15.00 an hour and applications can be found on JobX. For questions regarding Safe Ride operations and job openings, reach out to Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Grace Hazlehurst.
Photo Caption: Safe Ride will be fully operational after multiple years of sporadic availability.