Digger Drive, a Safe Ride program in which volunteer students help their fellow students get home safely, is on its way to Mines.
Beginning in Oct. 2015, the Undergraduate Student Government has been working through the logistics and preparing the project to be approved by administration.
“I got involved with this because I heard about these kinds of programs at other schools, and I think it’s important that people start to learn how to balance fun and being a responsible adult,” said Amber Brusak, the Safe Ride Committee Chair. “When it comes to safety, it’s so important to know how you’re going to get home.”
This program would be similar to Safe Ride programs on other major Colorado campuses.
“We have two missions. We want students to be safe, responsible adults that have safe habits–it’s not just a drinking service. The second is to build community,” said Brusak. “Part of it is having students drive other students around to show that students care for one another.”
In Mar. 2016, the committee presented the program to members of Mines administration. While the administration declined the initiative, they directed the committee to certain aspects that needed to be addressed.
After spending this school year making adjustments, changes, and additions to the proposal, the Digger Drive committee of 14 students presented to the administration again.
On Mar. 8, 2017, the committee met with a representative from the legal department, a representative from risk management, and the Dean of Students, Derek Morgan. At this meeting, they discussed the feasibility of this program thriving on the Mines campus.
The proposed program would extend to a five mile radius around campus and offer rides Friday and Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Groups around campus would serve as volunteers as drivers, navigators, and dispatchers.
Providing rental cars, cell phones, and training to the volunteers, the program will have intense communication and location tracking to ensure that all participants arrive home safely.
In addition to a very in-depth formal report, the committee presented the results from a campus-wide survey that was sent out by USG.
After around 25% of the student body answered questions about alcohol consumption and transportation choices, the committee was able to show the need for Digger Drive.
“We are going to start working with legal and risk management to make sure that there aren’t any problems with the types of situations that may come up with a service like this,” said Brusak, who continues to work towards the implementation of this program.
On Wednesday, Mar. 15, administration is anticipated to announce their decision on whether or not Digger Drive will be available this spring. Anyone interested in volunteering or helping with the program should contact USG.
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