UIS Student Government Shuttles in New Initiative

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UIS Student Government President Ben Paoletti has launched a brand new initiative this semester that balances a fun time for students and peace of mind for the university. After working extensively for four months on this new project, SGA has announced that there will now be a shuttle between UIS and The Alamo, a local bar located downtown. The shuttle will take off every Saturday night from now until November 23, and it will run every half hour from 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Pickup will occur every 30 minutes in front of the Student Union, and the shuttle will pick up and drop off students in front of The Alamo every half hour. 

Originally started two years ago, the shuttle project was stalled until Paoletti decided to make it one of the main platforms of his presidency. Paoletti collaborated with The Alamo as well as Gracious Cab Company to help make this initiative a reality. The cost of this shuttle service for the semester is $3,000, and the SGA budget has allocated $1,500 for the semester for the cab while The Alamo graciously paid for the other half of the bill. Although there was resistance against getting the bill passed, everything has fallen into place, and it began running last weekend. This semester is being considered as a pilot program and, should it be successful, it will hopefully continue into future semesters. 

The primary goal of the shuttle is for students to have fun while remaining safe. According to ALCOLOCK, there were 330 deaths as a result of drunk driving, as well as 27,046 DUI arrests were made in 2017 in Illinois alone. By giving students an optional shuttle, this will hopefully counter any students who consider driving home drunk. Even if the students don’t arrive in the shuttle, they are encouraged to leave their car overnight rather than risk driving home under the influence. Additionally, this shuttle is free for student use and allows them to save money by not having to call an Uber or Lyft to pick them up.

UIS is technically a dry campus, and this allows the university to maintain its stance while also allowing students to go out and have fun on the weekends. There has already been positive feedback from the shuttle. The administration is thrilled that there is a free, safe option that allows students to be covered when they are out partying on the weekends. Students who do not have vehicles on campus are excited to finally enjoy the downtown bars and see what else there is off-campus. Ben Paoletti commented that [i]t felt good to do something for the students, especially after working on this initiative for four months.” In regards to the success and continuation of the program, he stated, “We have a good thing going, and we’re grateful for Gracious Cab Company and The Alamo. I hope students appreciate and respect the shuttle.” 

This is the first of many initiatives that SGA hopes to accomplish during this school year. Others include beautifying the campus, reintroducing school-sanctioned tailgates, continuing the downtown Springfield icard discounts, expanding the SGA Facebook page, and they recently helped start the STARS Supply Stop in the Union. It seems as though this will be an incredibly productive year for SGA, so keep an eye out for their upcoming events and initiatives!  

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