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Public Safety cancels a shuttle due to rowdy students
Fifteen minutes before the final shuttle arrived to take students into New Haven on Thursday, Oct. 29, the Department of Public Safety canceled shuttles services because students were behaving inappropriately, according to Chief of Public Safety Edgar Rodriguez.
Thursday night at around 10 p.m. in North Lot there were approximately 100 to 300 people waiting to board the New Haven shuttle, Rodriguez said. When the shuttle pulled up, the crowd of students began pushing and shoving and these actions escalated severely.
“At one point the pushing and shoving got out of control. If you have ever taken the shuttles you know we have those metal stanchions,” Rodriguez said. “Those were knocked down to the ground and they fell on people.”
Due to the chaos, people were trapped under the metal stanchions and Public Safety struggled to keep everyone in order.
One Public Safety officer hands out numbers to students waiting to board the shuttle. Another officer checks the number of students getting on the shuttle. Two or three other officers align the students to get on the bus. The entire process ensures accountability and promotes safety.
This process became a difficult task due to the large crowd and the rowdiness that continuously increased until the New Haven shuttle ultimately became canceled for the night. One Public Safety officer trying to contain the crowd fell with the metal stanchion while struggling to hold it up.
“It was a safety issue, No. 1. No. 2, as you know the shuttle is in the parking lot. There is still cars that are in that parking lot that are driving in and out. The only way to control [the crowd] and the only way to stop it was to stop the shuttles,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez pointed out that by stopping the shuttle services Public Safety hoped to regain control.
“By stopping the shuttles we can take control of the situation. And once they [the students] knew they were not going to get on, they would stop what they were doing and head back to their dorms. Which is what they did and I’m sure some got on cabs and went downtown.”
Even though the shuttle was shut down, some students agree with Public Safety’s decision.
Hannah Morrison, a sophomore who went to New Haven on Thursday night, said she didn’t mind Public Safety shutting down the shuttles.
“If it was unsafe it was unsafe and it was their call,” she said. “People should understand that.”
Clare Mercado, another sophomore that went to New Haven on Thursday night, agreed.
“If the conditions were unsafe I guess they made the best call. We know the shuttle line, it can get really rowdy,” she said.
Jack Onofrio, a freshman, does not agree with Public Safety’s decision and believes it could have placed people in an unsafe situation.
“Almost all of these kids were drunk so [Public Safety] creating a situation where kids have to drive drunk and maybe put themselves in an unsafe situation. Like, they’re Public Safety, they’re supposed to keep people safe and they aren’t doing their job just because they couldn’t handle a couple drunk kids,” he said.
However, this rowdiness should not have progressed to the extent that it did, Rodriguez said.
“We’re talking about adults here not children. This type of behavior is unacceptable the shuttles to downtown is not a right. It’s a privilege given to them by the university,” Rodriguez said.