Keep Game Shows on TV
Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, February 3, 2012 00:02
Last Sunday on its website, The Hoya broke a story that detailed a proposal — passed by the Georgetown University Student Association — to turn one SafeRides van into a Snack Cab ("GUSA to Institute Game Show in SafeRides," Jan. 29). Students will answer trivia questions for the chance to win prizes, and their responses will be taped and posted on the Georgetown and GUSA websites, provided that they sign two waivers. While this program will undoubtedly capture some hilarious evenings, it will not improve SafeRides and is a waste of university resources.
According to GUSA Vice President Greg Laverriere (COL '12), GUSA hopes that the new program will encourage students to wait for the SafeRides vans they call, which would keep the program effective and timely. This statement raises two questions: What is the purpose of SafeRides, and why are students leaving before the van gets to them?
The purpose of SafeRides is to ensure that students can return to their homes safely when they feel vulnerable, whether they are coming back from a party or merely walking alone at night. SafeRides provides a valuable service to Georgetown students; we have all received many Public Safety emails detailing assaults and thefts across campus and the surrounding areas. The game will not improve SafeRides' response time or put more vans out on the street, both efforts that would actually benefit students. Given the importance of SafeRides' function, GUSA should focus on maximizing its benefit to students, not its entertainment value.
Students who call SafeRides and leave before the van gets to them could have two reasons for doing so: First, the students may have never really needed SafeRides to begin with, and just decided to walk home. The second reason that students may desert their SafeRides is because, frankly, the vans take too long to reach their destinations. Rather than linger where they feel unsafe, students decide to start walking home so they can at least move away from a sticky situation.
The bottom line is SafeRides is subjected to too many superfluous calls, and there aren't enough vans to take the students who genuinely don't feel comfortable traveling on foot late at night. Snack Cab won't add any cars to the SafeRides program, and game show may in fact increase the number of unnecessary calls.
Bringing the Snack Cab game to SafeRides will only further increase this problem; students may call for a van just in the hopes of playing trivia and winning a prize. Consequently, SafeRides' response times will become even longer, and students who actually do need the service will be forced to wait in potentially unsafe or uncomfortable locations.
Lastly, spending money on prizes is a waste of resources. According to The Hoya, GUSA is working on a way to install lights that flicker when passengers enter the van to signal that they have been chosen to participate in the game. Rather than focusing on trivia prizes and game-show lights, GUSA should work on improving SafeRides' response times and on making it easier to use. After all, if students want to play drunken trivia, they can always just go to The Tombs.
Dan Healy is a junior in the College.