Oct 232011
Authors: Erik Carman

As a young lady passed through the intersection of Plum and Meridian without stopping on Oct. 20, a CSUPD bike enforcement officer pulled up beside her.

“Madam, CSU police, stop your bike,” the officer said. This wasn’t just any bike cop though, it was also a CSU student –– senior graphic design major Phil Morris.

“At first it was just a job, but now I’m actually starting to look at this as a career,” Morris said, adding that as one of six bike enforcement officers, he thinks of his job as an opportunity to serve the CSU community.

But despite serving the community, Morris also said being an officer can be difficult, especially when initiating contact with a student, as some become frustrated.

“A lot of people don’t realize we have authority,” Morris stated, explaining that a difficult part of the job is enduring students that, in fact, they do.

Bike enforcement is a service done for students, by students, through the university’s police department. They are here to educate and ensure the safety of students biking on campus, Morris said.

Morris, who is graduating this semester, originally came to Fort Collins five years ago from Bromley, England.

And while CSU bike enforcement is made up of students, some of their peers don’t feel as enthusiastic about their presence.

“I feel like they’re everywhere,” said undeclared freshman Molly Davidson, adding how she thinks ticketing college students is unreasonable.

“For safety reasons, it’s a good thing to have them [bike enforcement] there.” Davidson said. “But a warning system would be better.”

The student Morris stopped on Oct. 20 went home with a $30 ticket, which Morris said was considerably cheaper than one from Fort Collins Police Services, and wouldn’t add points on her license.

Luke Kancir, a senior business finance major, said he thought Bike Enforcement was unnecessary.

“I don’t think students should have the ability to ticket other people,” he said.

Kancir added that, if approached by Bike Enforcement, he probably wouldn’t even stop.

Morris said that most people don’t know bicyclist have to follow the same laws as cars. But in the state of Colorado, Morris said, a bicycle is considered a vehicle.

Morris assured they don’t have a quota.

“In fact,” Morris said, “I give out way more warnings than I do tickets.”

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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