Imagine this: you are one of the unfortunate KU students that take a night class, once a week, from 6-9 p.m. There was nothing you could do about it, though – all the other time slots for this particular class were full and you had to pass this one class to move on with your annoying grid sheet.
So there you are, leaving a half hour early from your class in Lytle one night. On the one hand, you’re excited because this class never ends early and you have more time to study once you get back to your room. On the other hand, it’s 8:30 p.m. and you have to walk a mile to Golden Bear Village South. It’s cold, dark and a bit eerie walking across Main St, especially with the current stream of KU Crime Alerts emailed to students practically every weekend.
In this instance (and many others), riding the KU shuttle would have helped a student out a great deal. Unfortunately, the shuttle stops running after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays leaving students that live on campus with classes later than 4 p.m. out in the cold (literally). I believe it is time for KU to seriously reconsider the shuttle’s hours of operation.
Luckily, I do not have any late afternoon/night classes this semester, but I have had some when I first transferred to KU. My first (and only) class on Tues/Thurs didn’t start until 4:30 p.m. It was Spring 2011 – can you imagine how cold I was walking back to my dorm in Dixon Hall from Lytle in the middle of February? At that time in my life, I wasn’t even concerned with my safety as I crossed the dark Main Street and walked to the south side of campus; I was too busy shivering to be worried that anyone would try to leap out at me from the shadows.
I know students that have to walk back to their dorms and apartments from night classes this semester, though. Even though none of them have expressed feelings of danger, they also know that KU’s campus doesn’t seem to be as safe as it once was.
Walking in the dark later in the night isn’t safe for many reasons. Crossing Main Street is never fun in the dark – cars can’t see you waiting to cross and the street lamps make it hard to see some of the cars that drive faster around the bend. If the KU shuttle were to extend their hours until 9 p.m. on weekdays, students could safely make the trip back to the south side without concern.
People choose to ride the shuttle for many reasons, including bad weather, an injury that might slow them down or they’re running late for a class. Usually, these reasons only affect the commuter during the day. I’m sure if students were given the opportunity to ride the shuttle after the sun had gone down, an overwhelming majority would. I definitely would if I was still living on campus.
By Mary Pickett