CAUS is here to make a difference, and they’re not asking for help.
This week, CAUS began SafeWalk, in a response to the recent incidents of groping on Massachusetts Avenue. Sunday through Thursday, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., CAUS members and outside volunteers will walk with students who feel unsafe back to their apartment building, whether it is the five-minute walk to the Berkshire Apartments or further.
Currently, Public Safety’s Safe Ride program will give students a ride home if they ask. But they can only drive students to AU-affiliated buildings, meaning that they cannot go past the Berkshire Apartments. This leaves out a substantial number of upperclassmen. Second, this ride is not easily accessible. To get a ride, you have to have the initiative to call Public Safety, and at 2 a.m., this discourages many students. Third, it can be embarrassing to tell your friends Public Safety took you home. Although it is perfectly understandable to feel uneasy and want someone there, students may risk chances of abuse rather than taking the extra steps required to call Public Safety.
SafeWalk provides everything Safe Ride lacks. They can take you to any apartment building on Massachusetts Avenue, AU-affiliated or not. It starts from Kay, which is already on the way home, making it fast and simple to participate. Also, it’s not embarrassing to walk with a fellow student.
This program is helpful, but what’s even more remarkable is the speed in which CAUS was able to create this program. Within a week, this initiative has gone from an idea to action. For a school so heavily filled with bureaucratic red tape, it is refreshing to see something get accomplished in a timely manner. If the administration or Student Government were in charge of such a program, it would take weeks or months to implement. CAUS skipped the paperwork and went straight to what students need most: a program which allows them to feel safe walking home.
CAUS has shown AU that it is serious about creating direct student action. There was a presumption that CAUS would be only a series of protests and complaints about the administration. Although voicing student opinion is worthy of merit, it doesn’t usually accomplish much. CAUS proved everyone wrong by starting such a practical program.
Now, CAUS has to keep its promise. They cannot start SafeWalk to have it last only a few weeks. They will have to find volunteers motivated to stand outside, freezing, at 2 a.m., to walk a nervous student home in early December. This will be difficult. But in order to remain a serious club, it’s what needs to happen.
The Eagle appreciates CAUS’s dedication to action and contribution the safety of students on Massachusetts Avenue.
CAUS made SafeWalk in a week. Let’s see what they can make happen in a semester. ≠ E