College News

Late-night attack on campus prompts van service proposal from UW leaders

At an Associated Students of Madison meeting last week, administrators asked representatives for feedback on their late-night van service idea.

Image By: Thomas Yonash

An after-hours van service might soon be an option for UW-Madison students who study at the library late at night to get home safely.

UW-Madison’s Dean of Students Lori Berquam and Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf discussed the option of implementing a van service at an Associated Students of Madison meeting last week.

The idea comes after a student was attacked with a hatchet while walking home from College Library Oct. 2.

Though that alleged assailant has since been apprehended, some students are still considering other ways to protect those walking late at night.

Jordan Gaal, Student Services Finance Committee chair, said that “increasing the hours of metro buses” would be more beneficial in ensuring students’ protection than the van ride service.

He also pointed out that “there are students on all ends of campus” and not just at College Library. Gaal said more consistent transportation that operates late into the night is important to keep all students safe, rather than a service that would just be available “as needed.”

“I think it is surprising that we have not [yet] provided transportation services later than when they are currently provided,” Gaal said. “Having a system that just caters to people at the library would not be as effective as utilizing the current infrastructure of the metro system to reach all students on campus.”

Other ASM members suggested decreasing College Library’s number of hours from 24 hours a day. But administrators said many students on campus utilize the library at all hours, especially during finals week.

ASM members also recommended offering free cab vouchers and extending the hours of SAFEwalk, a university transportation resource that hires students to accompany those traveling home.

Officials have not yet made any final resolutions to improve safety for students walking late at night on campus, but are assessing different possibilities. Both Berquam and Mangelsdorf said they supported the van service proposal.

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