Cambus hours need to be extended


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The University of Iowa Cambuses need to run longer.

Yes, I know it will be expensive. Yes, I know that it might be hard to find drivers for a midnight to 3 a.m. shift. However, some buses, like the Studio Arts bus, stop running around 12:05 a.m. But for those of us who live at the Lodge or need to stay at Studio Arts late on Thursday nights editing films, missing the last bus is not a rare occurrence.

The Lodge bus stops running at 6 p.m. every weekday, and on Friday and Saturday night, begins running again at 10 p.m. and stops 2 a.m. I have heard stories of Lodge residents sleeping in the grass at the Old Capitol because they were attending late-night lectures, poetry readings and workshops, or working late on the library computers — which have expensive programs on them like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop — and then got stranded downtown with no way home.

While some students are within walking distance from their dorm rooms and apartments, not everyone living in student housing does. It can be dangerous to walk a mile-and-a-half journey at 2 in the morning with a computer in your backpack alongside the sidewalk-less Highway 1.

While females are able to take Nite Ride, the Nite Ride vans usually only pick up from academic buildings, and males cannot participate in this program. Recently, I got stranded downtown after attending a writing workshop, and made at least 15 phone calls before I wound up crashing on my friend's couch in a Dubuque Street residence. Another time, one of my friends was stranded at the Studio Arts Building after missing the last bus because she was working on an art project and had to call her then-sleeping roommate to come and pick her up — what a hassle.

While I understand that expanding bus hours is an additional expense, and students should be responsible enough to make sure they catch the last bus, the reality is that there are academic events and happenings that students must, or desire to, attend, that run later than the buses.

If students are so afraid of missing the last bus that they decide to skip these events, they are will miss out on engaging and intellectually stimulating events, as well as some lectures or events that, if missed, might harm the student's grade.

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, the weekend bus hours should be extended so they run earlier. I, as well as some of my friends living at the Lodge, have work on Sundays. However, the buses do not start running until noon. For those who do not have bikes, they have to pay the $10 for a taxi or rely on their friends for rides. There are Sunday morning events downtown that a lot of my friends wind up missing out on because they start before noon. Not all students have cars, or can afford the time or gas to drive them from out of state.

While it might be a relatively large expense for the university to extend bus hours, I firmly believe that it is necessary for students' safety and engagement in student life outside the classroom.

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