Student Union goes forward with some initiatives, abandons others

February 25th, 2010

Students aren’t going to see a DVD rental kiosk on campus, but they might see more transportation options, automated external defibrillators, and more improvements in The Underground.

This past fall, Reel Qwik DVDs, a company located in Painesville made a presentation to Student Union about the rental kiosk.

Since the original presentation, the project has come to a halt.

“The company we were looking into wanted more information about student traffic, which would require extensive surveying,” said  SU Senator Meghan Everett.

Vice President for Communication Ashley Bauer said, “We decided to not pursue a contract at this time because, based on the statistics, it will not benefit John Carroll.”

“It was our understanding that there was not enough traffic flow on the John Carroll campus to meet the demands of the kiosk company. There is also a similar kiosk nearby at Walgreens; therefore, we did not think it was necessary to put a kiosk on campus at this time,” she said.

Dorothy Farris, co-owner of Reel Qwik DVDs, said that her company had not heard anything from John Carroll since the original presentation and there “might have been a miscommunication.”

Although students aren’t going to have easy access to DVDs on campus, they might be able to have easy access to cars.

Juanita Padilla, a junior SU senator, is still in the process of looking into bringing the Zipcar to campus as an option for an adjustment to the current shuttle program.

Zipcar is a car sharing program that, if implemented, would allow students and faculty to be billed on an hourly or daily basis for use of a car.

The program is typically useful for schools like John Carroll with limited parking, and insurance and gas are provided.

“We are still looking to see if it would be in the best interest of our school to get Zipcar on campus, and seeing how it has gone at the other schools that are similar to our size,” said Padilla  “From there, we would then do a survey and see what students’ reactions would be to this, and if they would use it.”

In addition to having Zipcar on campus, the possibility of enrolling John Carroll in the U-RTA program is also on the table.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers schools the option of enrolling in the U-Pass program. This program would automatically charge students $25 to their Bursar account per semester and would enable students to ride RTA anywhere, any time of the day.

If John Carroll decided to implement this program, there would be no option for students to opt out.

“This allows all students to receive a drastically reduced rate,” according to the RTA U-Pass Web page.

Both Zipcar and U-RTA are options being looked into in order to adjust the current shuttle program.

“Both of these alternatives also have the benefit of helping to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Padilla.

Issues of entertainment and convenience are not the only items being addressed by SU. EMS hopes to purchase two additional automated external defibrillators with assistance from SU.

Automated external defibrillators are portable devices that are used to deliver electric shocks to people suffering from cardiac arrest.

One of these additional AEDs will be placed in the Dolan Science Center and the other in the Administration Building.

“These two buildings are ideal locations for the AED machines because they are high traffic areas with faculty and students who will benefit from having the machines,” said Bauer.

Sophomore EMS member Courtney Miller said the machines are absolutely necessary

“What is the point of being trained to use them if we don’t have any? Also, you don’t have to be EMS to use an AED. Once you turn it on, it will tell you how to use it,” said Miller.

Each machine costs between $1,600 and $2,000. There is one grant which EMS can apply for, and SU intends to help in the grant writing process, which can be very difficult and time consuming.

“The Student Union is also going to evaluate the budget and see if we can help cover some of the costs of the machines,” said Bauer.

The addition of furniture, a flat screen TV and gaming tables in The Underground are a result of the efforts of SU. Opinions of students about the renovations are mixed.

“I think the improvements are positive,” said sophomore Jason Petroff, “but I wish more could have been done. Video games would have been nice.”

Some students do not find the renovations to be positive, wishing instead for the area to return to its quiet days.

“I think the televisions are distracting,” said graduate student Mark Batholet. “It makes it difficult to study.”

The renovations were funded by the 2008-2009 Student Activity Fees.