Popular service can now accommodate more students, helps make campus safer

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Friday, March 21, 2014

The University of Iowa officially has a second vehicle to ensure safe transport for students late at night.

Members of the media got a first look at the second vehicle in the UI’s Nite Ride Service’s fleet at an event on the Pentacrest on Friday, March 21. The van, which can carry 14 passengers, will go into service this weekend, according to the UI Department of Public Safety, which oversees the service.

Earlier this month, UI President Sally Mason told the state Board of Regents that the university had purchased a second Nite Ride vehicle, noting its popularity, especially with female students. Nite Ride served nearly 2,400 women in January and February, Mason told the board.

Indeed, the Nite Ride service was at capacity, necessitating the purchase of a second van, noted Loren Noska, a captain in the UI Department of Public Safety’s police division.

“It renews our commitment to safety for all members of campus,” he adds.

Georgina Dodge, UI chief diversity officer and associate vice president, also attended the event.

The Nite Ride service underscores the UI’s commitment to keep campus safe and to combat sexual assaults. Among other actions, university leaders have unveiled a six-point plan, called for a student-advisory group to meet regularly with Mason and her senior staff, changed the language of the UI’s Timely Warning, and revamped university websites about sexual-assault reporting.

“We all agree that the safety and well-being of every student is an absolute priority,” Mason told the regents, which met on the UI campus. “The University of Iowa will do everything in its power to prevent sexual violence, support survivors, and hold offenders responsible, and I have invited all members of our campus to play a role in confronting this issue.”