I find it extremely disagreeable that Mercyhurst University has suspended the “drunk bus,” even if just for one weekend.
I cannot argue that students’ choices are in their own hands, but the drunk bus is a tool that aids students in making good, safe choices, or as Vice President for Student Life Gerard Tobin, Ph.D., said, “responsible, mature decisions.”
I think alternatives to shutting down the bus that would reprimand the irresponsible students should be in place.
First, we have Mercyhurst personnel—generally the same person—on the bus. I think it would be favorable to have them maintain a list of people who are not allowed. The list would include students who have proven they cannot behave properly. Some sort of strike system would act as a deterrent for misbehavior.
Additionally, I think it would be rational to have some sort of disciplinary action through the school. There is, after all, a staff member who could monitor this.
If a student refuses to show their ID, then they don’t have to be let on, which would make the ban list even more effective if the bus monitor did not recognize the banned students. However, I find it more likely that the offenders are often the same people, and the monitor would remember them.
Moreover, if the school is unwilling to take an action other than checking IDs upon entry, I think the police officer on the bus each week could take some sort of action.
If a student commits a crime, they can be punished. They will then be less likely to do something illegal in the future. I am assuming that Mercyhurst funds the police officer in some capacity—either through the cost of the EMTA shuttle or directly to the department. Why have the officer there if he/ she will not be enforcing the law, just to say they are there?
Because there are solutions besides punishing the entire student body, causing extra risks, such as drunk driving, buzzed driving, or sober MU drivers being hit by drunk drivers, I think Mercyhurst should strongly reconsider their suspension and possible removal of the EMTA weekend shuttle.