RamRide Ride Along

 Uncategorized
Feb 082004
 
Authors: Ben Bleckley

At midnight on Saturday, Aron Schulz was not at a party,

restaurant or at home watching TV. Instead, the junior psychology

and technical journalism double major was driving a rental mini-van

through the streets of Fort Collins.

Schulz is a volunteer driver with RamRide, a program sponsored

by the Associated Students of CSU that provides safe transportation

for students on Friday and Saturday nights.

“I’m doing it just to get involved, just the overall aspect of

doing something good,” Schulz said.

Lindsey Hansen, a senior French and art double major, also

volunteered for RamRide, and rode with Schulz.

“It’s so much more of a productive thing to do on a Friday

night,” Hansen said. “You’re helping people this way and it’s a

service a lot of people appreciate.”

Schulz agreed that volunteering was better than the

alternative.

“It’s better than spending your Sundays all hung-over,” he

said.

Around midnight, Hansen and Schulz picked up Crystal Matthews, a

sophomore human development and family studies major, from a

party.

“I have never drunk and drove in my life,” Matthews said.

“(RamRide) is keeping me from drinking and driving, and that’s

awesome.”

Anna Mangan, a freshman open-option major, also rode RamRide for

her second time Saturday night. She found out about the program by

word of mouth. She said she definitely plans to use it in the

future.

Schulz said if he were not volunteering on his weekend nights,

he would be drinking instead.

“I guess growing up and not needing to get drunk at a party (is

what changed my mind),” he said.

Schulz is working six nights this semester, a commitment all

RamRide volunteers are asked to make.

“You have to find the right kind of people that would be willing

to give up a weekend night,” Hansen said.

Mangan said she and a group of friends were planning on taking

the training and volunteering themselves. She said that while it

was good to encourage people to volunteer, six nights might be too

much for some.

“I think it’d be a lot easier for them to find volunteers if it

was like ‘hey, I can do it two nights, that’s all I want to do,'”

Mangan said.

Saturday was Schulz’s first night volunteering for RamRide after

he attended training on Thursday.

The one and a half hour class covered safety procedures, how to

handle sexual abuse and an explanation of the paperwork involved,

Schulz said.

Some situations were not covered in the training, as Britta

Schroeder, one RamRide volunteer, can attest.

One night, Schroeder pulled up to a curb in Old Town where

people not listed for a pick-up asked for a ride. Schroeder said

she couldn’t give them one.

“They were like ‘no, please, that guy over there.’ They pointed

to him and there’s this guy, waving a gun around,” Schroeder

said.

She called RamRide dispatch and asked what to do. They told her

to close the doors and drive away.

“Unfortunely, I had to leave them,” she said. “But you’ve got to

worry about the safety of you and your navigator first, I

guess.”

Despite the possible danger, both Schulz and Hansen said they

plan to volunteer in the future.

“They ask you that if you’re going to volunteer that you make

somewhat of a commitment,” Hansen said. “Just because without the

volunteers this program wouldn’t run.”

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