Saferide, the on-campus organization committed to preventing students from drinking and driving, has restructured itself through a new constitution approved by the Student Government Association (SGA) last Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Over the summer, Saferide rewrote the constitution to better suit the needs of the program. Rather than structuring itself as a traditional campus club with an executive board, Saferide will now be operating under a managerial structure with one manager, five supervisors and 15-20 staff drivers. “It’s a more efficient structure,” said Saferide manager Daniel Ruthenberg-Marshall. “We’ve worked hard to put everything together so once the semester began and it was approved, we could really hit the ground running.”
Over the summer, all Saferide staff, including Ruthenberg-Marshall, were let go and a rehiring process began. Kelly Smolinsky, advisor to Saferide, hired Ruthenberg-Marshall as the manager and together they began the process of hiring five supervisors.
After an application process and interviews, Matt Forrester, Allison Shapiro-Davis, Hillary Powell, Julia Rocha, and Kevin Turek were selected. One supervisor is to be scheduled each night Saferide runs (Wednesday-Saturday), in order to oversee the driving staff, as well as to attend to day-to-day operations including merchandise sales, publicity, payroll, scheduling, record keeping, maintaining the website, seeing to van cleanliness, and updating first aid kits.
Ruthenberg-Marshall, the five managers and 15 drivers hired to the staff are all vehicle-certified by Campus Public Safety and are first aid certified. Additionally, during the interview process, Ruthenberg-Marshall made it a priority to ensure new drivers were prepared for the challenges of driving students home from the bars. “While we needed to know pertinent information like if they have any points on their drivers’ license… we also want someone who will always be on their toes. Last February, a window was smashed and we need people who aren’t going to shy away from dealing with situations like that,” he said.
The Saferide staff hopes that with a more structured system, the organization will run more efficiently. “I think SafeRide was always efficient at fulfilling its main goal (safely delivering students from The Door to campus), [but] there wasn’t very much consistency. Things are more stringent this year, with making sure that all the employees know exactly what their responsibilities are, how to act in certain emergency situations, all the little rules that were sort of overlooked in the past,” said Manager Julia Rocha.
Manager Allison Shapiro-Davis agreed. “It it will be a lot more organized this year so we can focus more on picking up more people and their needs than messing around with paperwork; the system will eventually be second nature,” she said.
Saferide will continue to provide service from the Green Door to campus Wednesday-Saturday nights. While Saferide did not permanently cover Wednesdays last semester, the constitution now has Wednesday included as part of its regular weekly coverage. Additionally, in rewriting their constitution, they have made themselves flexible enough to accommodate other establishments if student demand arises. “We want to work to expand services –one bar four nights a week isn’t going to stop drinking and driving—so, we just want to meet the needs of the students,” said Ruthenberg-Marshall.