BUPD may implement SGA president’s business idea for student rides

A Real Business Experience project from last year may become a reality if the Butler University Police Department receives positive student reception.

A possible addition to operations for BUPD involves a new escort service.

Police chief Ben Hunter said the RBE project presented by Student Government Association president Al Carroll and juniors Kyle Zima, Jared Isthenal, Alexis Schmidt and Pat Gelwicks piqued his interest for having a transport service where students would escort other students to their dorms safely.

“I’m not opposed to it, but it’s not totally in future plans [for BUPD],” Hunter said.

Carroll, a junior marketing major, said his RBE project was appreciated by students who used the service.

“I would say the business model was very successful, but we didn’t advertise it as much as we should have,” Carroll said.

Junior accounting major Zima said that although the idea didn’t make much of a profit, it proved that there is a demand from students in the Apartment Village.

Students could pay either $1 per ride or $5 for a weeklong pass. BUPD would likely offer the service at no cost. “Their [BUPD’s] idea is much different than my business model,” Carroll said. “We wanted to make money, and they want to keep people safe.”

If BUPD were to use student escorts, the service would run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Hunter said the escort position would probably become a campus job.

Liz Freedman, student employment coordinator, said she would be interested in looking into the possibility.

“It sounds like a good opportunity for students,” Freedman said. “I’ve been getting some concern from parents about students working late on campus and having to walk home at night.”

Electric vehicles owned by BUPD would be used for the escort service, despite their potential futility in extreme winter weather.

Unlike Carroll’s business project, BUPD’s route would probably cover all areas of campus.

Isenthal, a junior finance and management information systems major, said the RBE project acquired more than 20 membership customers and more than 50 single ride customers.

“There is true potential for a shuttle service,” said Schmidt, a junior finance and Spanish major.

Some students expressed trepidation about other students leading them home.

“If [the escorts] were screened and checked out before becoming escorts, that would be reasonable,” junior psychology major Rachel Carnagua said.

If enough students show interest, BUPD might consider the proposal in the future, but for now, Hunter said the student escort service would operate as usual.

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