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Friday, June 21, 2024
The Observer

Student government, NDSP introduce SafeBouND campus safety service

Two years after inaugurating O’SNAP, student government and Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) are “rebranding” the campus shuttle service as SafeBouND.

“What we found with O’SNAP was that people were abusing it as a party shuttle because of the golf carts,” student body vice president Becca Blais said. “What then happened, was that numbers were going up and up and up, not because students felt unsafe on campus, but because students wanted to take advantage of this free ride from one place to the next. We decided to bring it back to the safety aspect.”

safebound web
Joseph Han
Joseph Han

Student body president Corey Robinson said 16,000 students requested rides last year, just on the weekend.

“The numbers from Sunday to Wednesday are very manageable, about 200 to 400 requests a week, but on the weekends it goes up to 600 or 700,” he said.

SafeBouND will start at 9 p.m. every day, ending at 1:30 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on the weekends starting Thursday nights. The golf carts and minivan will only be available during the week; on weekends, SafeBouND will be a walking service.

“We looked at the analytics from last year and those were the popular times,” NDSP captain of crime prevention, outreach and safety Tracy Skibins said. “Student government thought it was important we work around parietals as well.”

The SafeBouND weekday hours are slightly shorter than the hours for O’SNAP, which went until 3 a.m.

“With the numbers, cutting it back on the weekdays shouldn’t make much of a difference,” chief of staff for student government Michael Markel said.  

A “minimum of three and maximum of six” student walking pairs will be available on the weekends, Skibins said. To cut down on wait time, she said the pairs will be stationed at populated areas, like the library, LaFortune Student Center and Reckers, rather than being centered at Hammes-Mowbray Hall.

“They have safety vests on that signify they work for SafeBouND, so you know they work for us,” Skibins said. “They also have a handheld radio that is in constant contact with our 911 dispatch center.”

Robinson said the rebranding will help students realize the purpose of the service.

“We think that since it will be a walking program during the weekend and the golf cart and van on the weekdays, it will be much more manageable,” Robinson said. “We think that will decrease numbers from that ‘party shuttle’ aspect and bring it down to the real issue at hand.”

Blais said that by working so closely with NDSP, SafeBouND can “constantly” be adapted to fit the needs of the students.

“We’re working to try to compliment SafeBouND with an off-campus safety program as well,” Robinson said. “We’re in the works for that, but our vision for down the road is to have an off campus safety program, which hopefully we can announce soon, partner and match up with campus safety and then we can have a more holistic view.”

The program is open to the whole Notre Dame community, including faculty and students from Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross walking back to their campus. SafeBouND can be contacted through the ND Mobile app or by calling 574-631-5555.

Both Skibins and Robinson said students also always have the option to call SafeBouND after hours to request a police or campus safety officer to assist them.

“We’ll never turn anyone away,” Skibins said.