SG vans undergo $840 update after a year of use

Abbey Haldeman, Assistant News Editor

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Vans rented to students, faculty and staff by Student Government have received funds for cleaning and new policy changes regarding their use have been introduced.

Last fall after flood relief efforts, the Student Government vans underwent full detailing to return them to their original form. However, over the past year the vans have not had the proper upkeep and SG says they are in need of a full detailing once again.

“They are used on a close to daily basis, it is hundreds of different students using them across the area they just naturally get dirty,” John Sweeney, vans committee president and senior class vice president, said.

During the SG meeting held on Sept. 26, the executive board voted to grant the vans committee $840 to ensure the $210 fee per van is covered for the full detailing they will undergo starting next week.

“Although it does sound expensive, it is an extremely thorough cleaning,” Sweeney said. “It is really a complete 180 from when we drop them off to when we pick them up.”

While there has always been a policy in place to help ensure the safety and cleanliness of the university vehicles, they are hoping to make some changes in order to fix some of the re-occurring issues.

Executive Director of Capital Projects John Pesta said the changes would include items such as drivers must be at least 19 years of age, they must submit a Motor Vehicle Record check, drivers being responsible for evaluating the condition of the university vehicle and drivers being subject to applicable university disciplinary procedures for failure to comply.

Sweeney said the vans committee now includes a checklist for those making use of the SG vans. In-town trips will have a form that will reflect the name of the driver, the starting mileage, where they are going and any problems there may be with the vans.

For out-of-town trips, there is a full check-out form, including, name, WIN number, names of passengers, where the trip is going, if the van has a full tank of gas, if it is clean, if the taillights and headlights work and other details.

“We decided that it would be a good time to really update the way that we track the use of the vans to make sure that they are staying clean, that they aren’t being left on empty, that we find out when a taillight or a headlight is out or the wipers need to be replaced,” Sweeney said. “Because I don’t drive them all the time, we need the feedback from students so we can properly maintain them and ensure their safety.”

For those using the vans that do not properly follow the new system or are still returning the vans with messes or problems, there will now be a suspension system put in place.  For first-time offenders there will be a warning, and after the second and third time there will be a possible a two-week suspension from using the vans.

Sweeney said policies to keep the vans clean are good for the entire student population.

“The vans are there … so, by keeping them clean, you are not just helping yourselves, you are helping the student body as a whole,” Sweeney said.