Should Rollins Have Buses For Off-Campus Events?

January 21, 2011 Opinion

Here at Rollins, our student body likes to work hard and play hard. We often head out to downtown Orlando on Thursdays and Saturdays to check out the local club scene. In the past, organizations like fraternities would hire buses to take students to specific parties at different clubs, such as Chi Psi’s Foam Party, or Red Light Green Light, hosted by Non Compis Mentis. When current seniors were first-years, unauthorized buses would park in front of Mills Lawn and shuttle students downtown. Well, this is not the case anymore. The college is cutting down on the events that are allowed to hire buses to take students to off-campus locations.

Ken Miller, director of Campus Security, claims that the biggest issue with past practices is the risk management factor of hiring an outside charter bus company Stu dents often take these buses downtown because they do not have their own transportation, and it is fairly cheap to get tickets on these buses. But the practice has also been known to foster excessive drinking by the students. These buses are viewed as “drunk wagons,” used to carry intoxicated students from a campus post- or pre-game celebration to the club of choice for the night and back to campus at the end of the festivities.

The college qualifies this use of outside transportation to take students to an establishment making its money from alcohol sales as a “Party Bus.” According to the guidelines set out by Campus Security (found at www.rollins.edu/security), party buses are prohibited from coming on campus, and disciplinary action will be taken against the organizations or students responsible. What is allowed is the use of buses hired by student organizations to take members to formal and semi formal events, or to other offcampus locations and events which do not violate the policy. There are certain guidelines that need to be met by students who wish to hire a bus, which are all outlined on the Campus Security website. If the proposal to bring a bus on campus does not meet these requirements, it will be denied.

The biggest argument for the prohibition of buses to take students to off campus parties is the idea of the college putting the safety of its students in jeopardy. Many feel that, without these “party buses,” students are more likely to drink and drive. If the college permits these buses to transport students, they will not drink and drive. By the same token, the new policy could be fostering excessive underage drinking, a practice that is strictly against the law. Miller feels the argument is an empty claim. “If kids want to drink on campus, they are going to drink on campus,” Miller stated, “regardless of whether there are buses or not.”

There are many alternatives to the use of party buses. Over 40 city cabs come to Rollins on weekend nights, ready to take students downtown. The C-Store sells cab vouchers, which students can purchase with Tar Buc$.

Also, Miller advocates the use of designated drivers, and simply being responsible. We are adults on this campus, and it is not the responsibility of the college to baby-sit the students. The college would also be open to working with students and organizing the shuttle bus to take students to places like Winter Park Village and downtown on weekends.

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