Oct 242011
 
Authors: Victoria Sandora

One of the platforms during the 2003 Presidential campaign was for ASCSU to start its very own safe ride program modeled after Texas A&M’s Carpool. After much debate about the liabilities of having a safe ride program, RamRide was formed. Its first operations were based out of a basement, and they only had a few cars operating. Now, eight years later, the program is running 20 cars and averaging over a thousand people taken home each weekend. We are also often considered the second largest volunteer-based safe ride program in the nation, and soon to be the largest!

For the 2011-2012 school year, so many wonderful things are happening in the RamRide Department. We have expanded, added new programs and increased our student staff members.
This year, RamRide has been responsible not only for nightly operations, but for Positive Impact at home football games and our newest program, RamRide Return. Alcohol education and awareness is another area in which we are expanding into this academic year, focusing on the education of alcohol usage and CSU students. The department is also getting ready for our 150,000th ride after it’s 8th birthday yesterday.

Positive Impact used to be a part of the Student Services department in ASCSU but now has been relocated to the RamRide Department. Each home game, volunteers from student organizations and RamRide staff are out three hours before kick-off monitoring tailgating and then once the game starts, monitor the east concourse and student stands to make sure the students are well. All of this is to ensure that students are safe and have a first contact with other students rather than the police.

Our newest program, beginning on October 29th, is RamRide Return. In order to ensure students are being safe each weekend and utilizing our nightly operations, we are now offering a “safe ride back to your car in the morning.” This program was initiated as a campaign promise by the Eric and Rachel Administration through the request of students last year.

The biggest reason that students report for not using RamRide is because they don’t want to leave their car somewhere. Students will not have needed to use RamRide the night before to use this service in the morning. With RamRide Return, we are eliminating that problem and helping to further keep students safe. RamRide Return operations are going to run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. We are still looking for student organizations to volunteer for the morning operations at a higher rate than the evenings.

When it started, RamRide was just nightly operations. It started by being fully recorded through paperwork and required a lot of work to go through all of the data at the end of the night. Now all of our records are filed electronically, which makes the end of the night work much quicker and easier for the staff. We have moved from a tiny basement to our own office in the Lory Student Center with ten computers, five phone lines, and enough supplies to operate 20-plus cars with gracious donations from Coca-Cola and local businesses around Fort Collins. A big upgrade we are looking to do is revamp our database by having a student from the computer science program create it.

This year we are celebrating two major events for this program. The first one is our eighth birthday, which is huge because our department has more than doubled in size since it’s inception. Next is RamRide’s safe completion of our 150,000th ride, which will happen sometime in November and will be the theme of our first annual Gala happening sometime in the spring.

Victoria Sandora is the RamRide Return Coordinator.

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