Trolleys provide peace of mind
How much is your safety worth? What price would you pay to help ensure you make it to see tomorrow?
Following the kidnapping and murder of a student last semester, UALR was the subject of an intense safety debate.
Students, faculty and the community were angry. How could this have happened? What could have been done differently?
Unfortunately, probably nothing could have prevented it. Even so, UALR listened to the fears and complaints with open ears. Plans were made to better light the campus, and this semester, the new Trojan Trolley system was put in place.
The trolleys service all of campus, including a few outlying areas. With 10-minute routes running all day, I’m sure they’ve helped quite a few students already. Personally, I’ll probably never ride one. This is my last semester here, and I’ve already spent more than my fair share of money for a premium parking spot.
So, that brings us to the opening question. Exactly how much would you pay to be safe? UALR thinks that $1.5 million (for a 5-year contract) is a good price for the safety of its students. Since that amount translates to only about $23 a student per year, I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Twenty-three dollars is less than the cost of a tank of gas, less than your cable bill. Every time you take a cab home after a night on the town, you spend more than $23. It’s a pretty good deal, you have to admit.
Here’s where I get to play devil’s advocate. What about those students who NEVER even come to campus? Distance learners make up a large portion of our campus population, and an even larger portion are students that come to campus on a minimal basis, or go to a satellite campus. What about those students? I’m not sure how they feel, knowing their $23 a year goes to make sure others don’t get hurt. I hope they’re OK with it, because they didn’t really have much say in the matter.
I have to praise UALR for its commitment to its students, faculty and everyone who uses the campus daily. The administrators, security officers and higher-ups really do listen to us. While they may not always do what we want, they do their best to do what they think is best for the campus as a whole. For that, they should be commended. Many other more traditional, more expensive universities are quite happy to take your money and sit on it. At least UALR does something productive with mine, even if I already pay for good parking.