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Ohio Wesleyan’s Public Safety launches a new ‘Safe Rider Program’

Students raising concerns about safety on campus have Public Safety taking initiatives to address the concerns.

The Department of Public Safety at Ohio Wesleyan University took a step toward student safety last week with the launch of the Safe Ride Program. The Safe Ride program will provide a university-marked van that will drive a set route seven days a week from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. On OWU grounds, the path will pass through remote parking areas, residential complexes, and academic buildings. At all times, two students will be on board the vehicle.

“This program is being offered as a trial to see how valuable it is to the OWU community. We'll be listening for feedback, assessing Safe Ride's popularity, and checking that the van is stopping at the right destinations,” mentioned in the email sent by Sean Bolender, Ohio Wesleyan University's Director of Public Safety to the student community.

Roni Cody, a senior, states, “I believe it is a smart move because the current parking system is ineffective in ensuring campus safety. Students who cannot afford a $175 parking permit are forced to park on the edges of campus and walk through poorly lit residential areas and streets. This service will be beneficial to those who have a D Pass and work night shifts on campus.”

When asked if she feels the Public Safety Department made the right decision, Roni Cody, said, "I think this is absolutely a step in the right direction."

“I don’t feel safe at all walking around at night on campus, and I think this would be a good addition for student’s safety,” Alexis Yracheta, a junior at Ohio Wesleyan University, said. He suggested having good lighting in the far-off pick-up spots for the Safe Ride Program to get to and from these parking lots and academic buildings.

"You can be a Safe Rider with us if you want to help keep campus safe, have a valid driver's license, and love working nights." Bolender added in the email.

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