To: Commander Mike Holt
From: Marshall Miller
Date: February 25, 2011
RE: Student Taxi System
Nightlife at the University of Denver has a few serious problems. At night, especially on the weekends, students need to escape the small campus and relax. Many take to venturing around town. Nearby businesses and restaurants work hard to attract students by promoting discounts and specials. While this is a good thing and the students’ behavior should be encouraged, safety does come to mind. Whether it’s the busy streets, perverts hiding in the shadows, or intoxicated individuals, it seems that there is too much to keep track of when ensuring safety. I respect your job, and your time and I believe a simple system could be implemented to lessen your stress and help your department focus on other problems at hand. A nighttime Taxi system associated with the University of Denver Campus Safety Department, could benefit the students, the department, and the University as a whole.
Students being intoxicated is a big issue at the University of Denver, you know this. With several bars around campus, it is inevitable that students, underage or not, will find ways to consume alcohol. This is a relevant problem at all Universities. While we can agree that underage drinking is illegal and wrong, I think that enforcing and taking action after the fact is the wrong approach. Sending intoxicated students (no matter how much alcohol has been consumed) to the infamous “Detox” is expensive, unreasonable, and ineffective. The Campus Safety Department should continue to discourage underage drinking however if it is going to happen, different and more reasonable measures could be taken. The Taxi system I propose would allow students, intoxicated or not, to get to a destination safely. This would be beneficial because it could relieve the concern of the busy intersections, cold weather, and creeps in the street.
I think that we can find some common ground when saying that the Department of Campus Safety at the University of Denver is not supported by 100% of the student population. I don’t have to inquire much to find out from other students that sometimes it seems like the Department has a main goal of getting students in trouble. I would like to see Campus Safety viewed as the good guys who can be relied on. Establishing this Taxi system could help improve the department’s image and gain more support. It would be in your best interest to have the student body comfortable with your presence because it could lessen crime. What better way to say you are looking out for a student’s well-being than offering to get them out of the cold and to their destination safely, no questions asked.
I would like to lay out a roadmap of what I was thinking this Taxying system could look like. First off, if there is not enough staff available to carry this task out, the department should recruit willing students. Not only would this free up time for officers on duty, it could clear up any controversy as to whether an officer is doing their job not citing an intoxicated student. By possibly associating a student run driving system with the department, that “good guy” image could still be attained while officers can focus on cracking down on thefts and drugs. Although it has been established that we both agree on student safety being a primary concern at the University, this is an excellent opportunity to promote that. The system could prevent students from making poor judgments when crossing the street and ensure they get to where they should be and need to be.
Of course this service would cost money. Gas to drive the cars, signs or other forms of promoting the system, etc. The cost could be taken care of by charging a small fee. If more students end up using the system, this could be incentive and bring in more money to the department which could be put towards other resources. I think that students would be open to this idea and nearby businesses would likewise support the concept. It might even be possible to work with them to raise funds and awareness.
I believe that a late night Taxi System will create a stronger bridge between the Campus Safety Department and the Universities student population. Not only would it prevent accidents and injuries, it would improve the department’s reputation. As Commander of the Department, it is in your best interest to try and bridge this gap. I urge you to look into developing and implementing such a system. Thank you for your time and consideration.