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SG to discuss SNAP changes

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Posted: Monday, November 30, 2009 12:55 am

Students hope they won’t be left saying “Oh SNAP!” after Thursday’s meeting between Student Government members and the University Police Department.

SG and Inter-Residence Hall Association representatives will meet with Capt. Jeff Holcomb and officer Pablo De Jesus Jr. to address student concerns with the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol, or SNAP, the free campus transportation service.

Unite Party Sen. Severin Walstad, who represents Springs Residential Complex, said SNAP was designed in 1976 to provide a safe ride home to students walking alone at night. Since then, groups of students take advantage of the service and use it as convenient way to get around campus.

Walstad said he hopes students realize SNAP’s main focus is safety rather than convenience.

However, he does not want to discourage students from riding SNAP.

Walstad said some ideas that could be discussed at the meeting include a SNAP 1 service, intended specifically for students traveling through campus on their own.

“Individuals seeking a ride should take priority as they are less safe than a group of students,” Walstad wrote in an e-mail.

Orange and Blue Party Sen. Jonathan Ossip said another improvement is creating set routes for the vans.

He said some of his constituents complain about being awakened by the late-night honks of SNAP vans outside their residence halls. Ossip said the vans would not need to honk if they had predetermined routes.

Ossip said he is glad SG will address concerns with SNAP because SG has not been proactive about correcting problems with this service in the past and sometimes relies on the prodding of the administration before it takes action.

Former Progress Party Sen. Dave Schneider said members of his party will suggest posting signs at SNAP pick-up locations similar to RTS signs, so students would not be confused about where to meet SNAP vans.

Any changes made to SNAP would come in the wake of reforms instigated by Student Body President Jordan Johnson at the start of the Summer B term.

Johnson said the number of SNAP vans was doubled from two to four, the hours were extended to 3 a.m. and the number of drivers was increased.

“But this service allows us to reach out to every kind of student that is out there and offer them a service that everyone can appreciate,” Johnson said.

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