'Powerful' help getting to and fro
This summer Neil Simon founded Powerful Productions, an information service for summer interns staying in D.C. who were looking for entertainment. Now that the school year has begun, he and his staff of 11 are providing similar services for students at AU, busing them to and from clubs and bars in the area.
Simon, an intern coordinator, realized that interns who come to the area for a short while do not know where to go for a good time. To remedy the situation, he founded a service that organized events like baseball games, set up special nights at clubs, and shuttled the interns to happy hours at bars.
Powerful Productions' office is located near George Washington University; many of the events were in that area, coordinated so that a Metro stop was within close proximity. Shuttling the students at AU has stayed within the same genre of easy transportation. Next summer Simon said he hopes to expand to serving an even larger group of people at several major universities in the area.
"In a nutshell what I've done is I've created a safe environment for students to not feel left out and to have a good time and to be safe about it," Simon said.
One of the main objectives of the service is to prevent drinking on campus. Since AU is a dry campus, underage students may be tempted to smuggle alcohol into their rooms because they have no place to go to relax with people of a similar age. Simon said he wants to work with the school to remedy this problem.
The shuttle service also prevent students who do drink from driving and provides for them safe transportation home. Too many times students are caught out after the Metro has stopped, with no money for a taxi and no way home.
The shuttle buses run Tuesday and Friday nights to and from various dance clubs and bars. It begins at 9 p.m. and stops running 45 minutes after the particular club closes. All students 18 and above are welcome at the dance clubs, which comprise about 95 percent of the events. The remainder of the shuttles run to bars where those 21 and over are admitted.
Already the shuttle has proven itself, shuttling students to locations like the Spy Club, Zei Club, and G.G. Flipps. Last week, it began busing people from George Washington. Within the next few weeks it should also be running to other universities in the area.
"At one of our events an 18-year-old did have a drink in his hand and they took the drink out of his hand and they said 'Excuse me, I would like you to please leave the club' and everyone else sees it, so no one tries to play games," Simon said.
Anyone over 21 who wishes to drink must wear colored wristbands, and anyone without a wristband who is caught drinking is removed and barred from future Powerful Productions events. Fake ID's have not been much of a problem because the shuttle has made allowances for the 18-20 age group, from which most of the offenders come.
However, the fliers that have brightened the lives of the students and the sidewalks at AU are to be removed from the pavement at the request of the University. Instead the shuttle services will be advertised weekly in the Eagle.