Copper Beech stop in jeopardy

Andrea Slivka and Andrea Slivka

The shuttle service to Copper Beech Townhomes will likely be discontinued next semester.

Transportation to Copper Beech was one of the issues addressed by James Wiegand, Chief of police and director of Public Safety, at the last Undergraduate Student Government meeting of the semester. Weigand also spoke about the unlikelyhood of shuttle service being provided to dowtown Bowling Green and about safety issues facing the campus.

Weigand said the decision to end shuttle service to Copper Beech is not yet final, but he doesn’t expect stops at the Townhomes to be provided next semester.

The service to Copper Beech is currently a stop on the south off-campus route.

There are several factors contributing to the likely decision to remove the stop – including the number of students using the service and the cost of continuing it.

“I am very disappointed with ridership from Copper Beach,” Weigand said.

Under 30 students are picked up at the stop each day.

With that number of students, the cost just isn’t worth it.

“It’s not economically feasable to continue that with the fuel costs,” Weigand said.

Wiegand said the Department will continue to monitor ridership over the next three weeks, and a permanent decision will likely be made over break.

Aaron Shumaker, USG president, thinks the ridership could change in the winter.

“That’s when students want to start riding the shuttle,” Shumaker said.

But Shumaker still thinks the stop at Copper Beech might be unneccesary.

Tony Wagener, off-campus senator, also thinks the cost outweighs the need to provide service to the few students who are riding the shuttle to and from Copper Beech.

While Wagener thinks losing the stop will be unfortunate for the students using the service, he also thinks students who chose to live so far off-campus should have been aware of the distance when signing their leases.

“The students who live at Copper Beech know that they’re living a fair distance from campus,” Wagener said.

And Wagener said students who don’t have cars should make living close to campus a priority.

For students who still want transportation provided, Wagener suggested asking the landlords at Copper Beech to provide van service if it doesn’t already.

Another place the shuttle service likely won’t be going is to downtown.

Liablity is a big issue preventing the service.

Weigand said he is concerned about some intoxicated students getting off the shuttle after being at downtown clubs and not getting to their destinations.

He also said the cost factor is significant because the department just doesn’t have funds for the service or to even explore it right now.

Weigand’s Department also oversees campus safety issues regarding the campus police.

Theft is one of the two biggest issues of campus safty in addtion to alcohol abuse.

But theft is very preventable.

“When you leave your residence hall or go off-campus, make sure you lock your door,” Weigand said.

It would be very easy for somenone to go into the room and take a wallet or other items lying in a short amount of time, Weigand said.

Weigand also advises students to never leave belongings unwatched in campus buildings – even when just going to the bathroom – because their property won’t be there when they get back.

But, overall, the campus is relatively safe.

“[The University] has minimal problems as compared to other universities,” Weigand said.

And students can help make the campus a safer place by reporting suspicious activity immediately to the campus dispatcher.

Weigand said that students efforts have helped in bringing about several arrests and stopping crimes.

Also at the meeting, senators passed legislation to create a City/Community Relations Board that senators hope will make communication easier between students and the city.