Cruiser resolution passes despite drivers’ protest

More than 25 Campus Cruiser employees, all anxious to hear the result of a resolution that would recommend extending Cruiser hours, were present at the Undergraduate Student Senate meeting Tuesday.

Cruising · Campus Cruiser drivers listen to the debate at Tuesday’s Senate meeting as senators discuss the resolution to extend Cruiser’s hours. About 25 drivers attended. - Scott Fairbanks | Daily Trojan

Though the resolution ultimately passed by a vote of 7-2, USG senators debated the resolution for almost an hour before voting.

Some of the key issues discussed included student interest in extended hours and the strain that could be placed on Cruiser’s resources and student drivers if service was extended.

Currently, Campus Cruiser runs until 2:45 a.m. on the University Park Campus. The resolution recommends extending the hours until 3:45 a.m. and includes recommendations to administrators to provide more cars and money to Campus Cruiser.

Director of Campus Affairs Helen Moser and Residential Senator Wilson Kyi said there was an overwhelming student interest in increasing the hours of Campus Cruiser and that they felt it was their responsibility to advocate for students.

Campus Cruiser Supervisor Kevin Aguirre said at the Senate meeting that he thinks one of the main problems is student attitudes toward Cruiser and misinformation about how the process works.

“People call in and they feel like we should pick them up immediately,” Aguirre said. “I think the needs are being addressed in the wrong way.”

Campus Cruiser employees said their biggest issue with the resolution is the late hours the employees have to work and the safety of the employees themselves.

“Students are spoiled,” Julius Cotton, a junior majoring in business administration and a Campus Cruiser employee, said at the meeting. “They go out and party without knowing how to get home.”

Extending hours would also require Cruiser to hire more employees and acquire more vehicles.

Kyi said he does not wish to force drivers to do something they do not want to and hopes to represent the interests of all students, including Cruiser drivers.

“The point of the resolution is to let the administration know,” Kyi said. “We want to see everyone’s reaction. Now that we know that Campus Cruiser doesn’t like it, we’ll be sure to let the administration know as well.”

Moser said if the hours are expanded to 3:45 a.m. USG will recommend the university consider professional drivers if students are unwilling to drive at that time.

Greek Senator Dylan Dann noted that students seemed to be looking for taxi-like services, not necessarily Campus Cruiser, and he thought the resolution should have been aimed at USC Transportation as a whole, not just Cruiser. Dann voted against the resolution.

Moser and Kyi said they have been advocating for the trams and also Yellow Cab, where students can pay with discretionary money, but the resolution focused on Cruiser because students have said they feel unsafe taking a tram or walking home.

Campus Cruiser employees declined to comment after the vote. The Cruiser manager could not be reached.

Moser said the next step is meeting with Campus Cruiser drivers to hear more of their concerns and understand the issue better so that they can be better represented.

“We will continue lobbying for this talk with the administration,” Moser said. “They have always responded to student needs. I don’t foresee that they would take their needs out of the picture.”

Kyi described the current resolution as general, but he and Moser hope to make it more specific in the upcoming weeks before they pass it off to the administration.

16 replies
  1. Tram Rider
    Tram Rider says:

    Well most of us would not have the need to use cruiser if only the Trams and the Tram drivers were reliable.
    The Tram drivers very often skip tram stops and modify the routes per their own whim and fancy, they especially do this if they are running late. They will ask people on the bus if anyone wants to get dropped off at XYZ location, if not the driver simply does not go that route, but they forget there might be people waiting to board the tram at XYZ location. USC Transportation, please improve Tram service and instill discipline in Tram drivers first, then consider extending Cruiser hours.

  2. USG Constituent
    USG Constituent says:

    I wish JMP/Walsh would have been elected…
    Is there some sort of impeachment process?

  3. Unhappy Cruiser
    Unhappy Cruiser says:

    I think if one takes a look at the records for the number of calls the Leavey driver receives, they will understand there is no need for extra cruiser hours. The Leavey driver along with the assistance of DPS (Who are dedicated to public safety) is enough to suffice all the people pulling all nighters or those who partied too hard and still need to get home. There is no “need” for extra cruiser hours, this is simply an example of spoiled children wanting extra conveniences so they can stay out later after the 9-0 closes. We are a service dedicated to SAFETY not CONVENIENCE and should be treated as such. If a student wants to get home before 3AM and wants to utilize the services of campus cruiser, then they’ll call before 2:45AM just like they always have. If they choose to stay out past that time for whatever reason, they need to plan to find another method of transportation home. Although it is not DPS’s main function, they will be more than happy to accommodate a quick ride home, or they will contact the Leavey driver to come and get you. Plain and simple.

  4. Current Student
    Current Student says:

    Campus cruiser is not a babysitting service for drunk people. Here’s the mission statement:

    “The USC Campus Cruiser program offers safety escorts during the evening hours by providing a walking or vehicle escort within the University of Southern California community…We provide…service to and from a residence to and from a facility not serviced by the tram service and within our boundaries.”

    Notice how the word “drunk” does not appear there. Do you really think the university would condone excessive and underage drinking by providing a service specifically for drunk students?

    • Cruiser
      Cruiser says:

      Cruiser isn’t just for drunk. In fact, most of the people I drive are going to or from study places on campus (computer labs, libraries, etc.). A lot of other people are just going to friend’s places for whatever reason (as in a call from an apartment on ellendale to one on 37 pl on a tuesday night). Also, if someone is really really intoxicated, cruiser drivers won’t take you and they’ll refer you to DPS. Believe me, I have refused to take really drunk people before.
      And honestly, if you care that much about getting drunk at ridiculous hours in an incredibly dangerous area outside of your residence and you still can’t get off your butt to call for a ride before 2:45, should the university really take care of your complete lack of responsibility? No.

  5. Student/cruiser
    Student/cruiser says:

    Isn’t it a bit ironic that students say that cruiser hours need to be extended until 345 because its “unsafe” when they are staying out that late and putting themselves in a dangerous situation?
    I understand the want to extend the hours but this is at the expense of so many people. As someone mentioned above, now 30 people will have to find their way home at 4am or later from grant which is way more dangerous.
    With this resolution, chances are every cruiser will be required to work 1 shift a week until 4am. I am a student too. I have homework and I have a life… I would really prefer not to have to pull an all nighter every week just so some drunk kid can skip the tram and comfortably take the cruiser while i am pointlessly worrying if they are going to throw up in my car and have to clean it up myself.
    Instead of complaining all the time maybe a little appreciation would be nice… We offer a service that isnt available at most campuses. But yet I get yelled at everytime I handle phones because someone doesn’t want to take the tram or thinks the wait time is too long… 1. What makes you think you have the right to yell at a student? 2. if we could give you a faster time we would. Plain and simple but just like you, there are about 25 other students calling at the same time wanting a ride as soon as possible.. BE REALISTIC. 3. We can’t give you a ride if you are on a tram route. its not our choice, that is what we are instructed to tell you by the university so why do you get angry at us? Don’t kill the messenger.

  6. Senior
    Senior says:

    “there was an overwhelming student interest in increasing the hours of Campus Cruiser and that they felt it was their responsibility to advocate for students”

    I’m sure there is an overwhelming student interest in a lot of issues at USC. It doesn’t mean those changes should be implemented if they are not logical. For example, I know myself and a lot of my friends would love to have free student football tickets. If you send out a student survey, you would be amazed at the response of students who want free tickets. Is that actually possible though?

  7. Cruiser
    Cruiser says:

    One of the fundamental issues we have against extending the hours of campus cruiser is that, after 2:45 AM nobody has any business at all being outside of the apartments alone. I understand that sometimes people find themselves in emergency situations, but the current resources available to students who find themselves in such circumstances have several recourses: yellowcab, DPS, the leavey driver. Besides that small number of people, nobody should need rides. At that hour, nobody should be getting drunk, studying at the library, etc. 10 hours is more than enough time.
    We work hard every night until the most ridiculous hours taking tons of people who clearly don’t NEED our services but merely enjoy the convenience: people going a few blocks in large groups, people asking for rides to fast food restaurants at 1 in the morning. So when everyone turns around and asks to work even later, we get understandably irritated. At a certain point, you have to take responsibility for your own actions. The university already does SO MUCH to protect your safety: DPS monitoring non-stop, security personnel stationed 24/7, cameras everywhere. If you are completely wasted at 3:30 in the morning in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in LA, you need to re-evaluate your life decisions and not turn around and blame me. You have already been given so much: the chance to attend a prestigious school and a free service that offers ten hours of rides. Anymore is ridiculous.

  8. Campus Cruiser
    Campus Cruiser says:

    I am more concerned about the fact that half of us will be totally asleep at 4am and unable to provide said SAFE RIDES, right?

    And honestly, I felt some sympathy for the PRs tonight — until some drunk girl told me she would walk down to Campus Cruiser and vomit on me for not giving her a car immediately. Turns out she was calling DPS yelling at them about us. If that’s not the definition of spoiled and entitled…

  9. Cruiser #8 - Will Moran
    Cruiser #8 - Will Moran says:

    I don’t care what any person says, the reality of the problem comes down to the CONVENIENCE of cruiser over trams and yellow cabs. The LARGE majority of people use safety as a scapegoat. If you are a student who lives east of Vermont or east of Figueroa, you have a legit safety concern because trams don’t go to those areas (how about USG tries and extend tram routes to go west of campus…) and those “security guards” with yellow jackets don’t “scout” those areas. Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason to extend cruiser hours past 3am. Those “security guards” are posted at almost every block within Vermont & Fig, and there is an all-night tram that services the majority of those areas. Be responsible and realize that after 3am you should have some type of plan to get home [& if not, use DPS if you’re really scared…they’re the ones with full time jobs based entirely on safety…].

    Also, keep in mind that on average there are about 20-30 cruisers who find their way home safely EVERY night @ 3:15am from GRAND/JEFFERSON to places as far as NORMANDIE/EXPO. How do we do it? WE can’t take cruiser can we? What about our safety? And now you’re telling us that we have to find a way home @ 4:15am? That doesn’t sound inconsiderate and myopic to you? That’s bogus…if we can do it so can you

    And just to put it out there, many of our frustrations are coming from the fact that many students are just as Julius stated: “spoiled.” They complain and whine about when we’re late and when we G.O.A them, while failing to recognize that we’re backed up that night [b/c people don’t take trams] or because we waited for other students that were late themselves. They complain and whine about waiting on the phone for 15min and getting a cruiser in 20min, while failing to recognize we get about 900 calls a night, meaning about 110 calls per hour, meaning we have about 30sec per call (barring human error and getting in an argument with a PR EVERY TIME we tell them to take the tram) to collect a bunch of info & determine the best way to accommodate everyone in a timely fashion. They complain and whine when we don’t cater to their every wish. NEWSFLASH! Cruiser is a safety service, not a convenience service. Instead of being upset at your cruiser when it is 10min late picking you up from a security detailed sorority house, and 10min late dropping you off @ your respective classroom on our gated campus protected by DPS, try thanking the cruiser for doing his/her job, which is to get you from point A to point B SAFELY. That being said, if cruiser hours are indeed extended, there are many issues about the service that must be addressed…the safety vs. convenience issue being a front runner.

    That is all.

  10. 7 Semester Cruiser
    7 Semester Cruiser says:

    What I still don’t understand is how the survey was collected to gauge this “overwhelming student interest” in lengthening Cruiser hours. Was it a Yes/No poll asking to extend our hours or was it gathering open suggestions? Can the methods and results of the survey be publicly viewed? Sure, I’d vote yes to get more free services from USC, but not at the expense of other people and not when it diverts or increases my tuition towards unnecessary expenses and redundant services. I hope that USG takes a much deeper look at what they claim is the true student interest before lobbying to get this resolution passed.

    CRUISER says:

    Dann has it right — let’s look at ALL of Transportation please. I wouldn’t get so many people angry and unwilling to take the trams if trams drivers made sure to stop at every location and wait a moment for students to board. The trams drivers should be subject to the same monitoring as Cruisers!

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