By Henri Gendreau
President of Greek Council Chelsea Katzeman ’14 visited Student Council Sunday, Feb. 23 to set the record straight regarding Greek Council’s position on the future of Safe Rides.
“In no ways is Safe Rides stopping,” Katzeman said at the meeting. “We were just trying to make it a little easier on Greek individual members to get registered to drive.”
Greek Council had requested that the Business and Finance Committee (BFC) subsidize drivers’ certification fees as a way to lessen the burden on its members of the $10-per-year registration.
Greek Council had requested $260 to allow for two people from each of the 13 Greek organizations to drive.
“Completely understandably, the BFC turned that down because of the precedent that it would set,” Katzeman said, referring to the possibility of other groups seeking that same perk.
At the Feb. 16 Student Council meeting, co-chairs of the Business and Finance Committee (BFC) Michael Marting ’14 and Eleanor Ritchie ’14 had raised the topic of making the service a paid student position.
In an emailed statement to the Collegian, Ritchie wrote, “We, as BFC Co-Chairs, had examined the possibility of making Safe Rides a paid position independently after Greek Council had approached us for additional funding and [in] the face of fewer [Kenyon Athletic Center] jobs for students.”
Ritchie said the BFC had “brought it up to Student Council as a long-term project to explore.”
“After further exploration, we learned that Greek Council wanted to retain ownership of Safe Rides. In addition, the larger than expected cost of making Safe Rides a paid position all contributed to the belief that Safe Rides is currently effective as it is,” she wrote.
In this week’s Council meeting, Katzeman said she opposed removing Safe Rides from under Greek Council’s control.
“Obviously, as Greek Council president, I see a lot of issues with that,” she said. “It would take away all of Greek positive publicity,” something Katzeman sees as integral to promoting Greek life on campus to prospective students and members.
“We understand we don’t get the money. We can move on,” Katzeman said. “It was something that we as Greeks proposed as an idea because we get so much other funding from the BFC for entire-campus community events, which Safe Rides is.”
Katzeman said many Greek members also use Safe Rides to meet their community service requirements.
“Because of the good that Safe Rides contributes to the whole of the school, we thought that it was possible for the BFC to fund it,” Greek Council Vice President Myles Alderman ’14 said at the meeting. “But at no point did we say if we don’t get the $260 we don’t want to continue Safe Rides and at no point did we request for it be taken over as an institution.”
“While there are certain individuals who dislike having to partake in Safe Rides, the Greek organizations as a whole continue to be supportive of it and it is something that Greek Council continues to wish to operate,” he added.
Marting and Ritchie said they had looked into the possibility of making Safe Rides a paid student position, and that it would cost more than expected.
“Another point that [Marting] had kind of brought up before is that people are just using it as a drunk taxi service and if you are that far gone you should be contacting Safety,” Katzeman said. “Well, a lot of people aren’t going to do that because of the implications of being written up by the Sheriff for that, so they utilize Safe Rides.”
“It’s not just a drunk taxi service,” she added.