The safety escort isn’t safe if we are afraid to use it.

10 02 2009

Is anyone else here afraid to use the safety escort?  First of all, most of the time the escort picks you up in a police car (embarassing).  Second, I have heard numerous people complain that the dispatcher or the driver was rude to them or acted overly annoyed at having to pick them up.  Thirdly, the escort is supposed to come quickly.  But in my experience, it can take up to twenty minutes to arrive.  Lastly, I have heard that in general men do not use the escort service.  This could be due to embarrassment, a male sense of self-sufficiency, and also the less perceived risk of rape and attack of males.

I used the escort service twice in my three years here.  The first time, the dispatcher acted very angry at me on the phone.  The escort took about 20 minutes to arrive, but the man driving the car was very pleasant.  The second time, the dispatcher was great but the driver was very rude.  The driver in fact refused to acknowledge my presence at all.

If people are afraid or embarrassed to use the safety escort, the service is not really doing its job.  I have heard of schools that have a continuous shuttle that circulates campus all night long.  These situations seem to work out better because more people use the shuttle and it does not require a phone call.

Please share your experiences with the escort services and any ideas for improving the service here at Tufts.  Thanks!


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5 responses

10 02 2009
twizzler

I wish there was another free alternative to the escort service. I’m not sure if they changed their policy, but it was only available to students going from a place on campus to another place on campus.

I once requested it and it took so long to arrive that I just walked home. I make a decision, even though I didn’t feel completely safe, to walk. I also feared poor treatment by the police officer.

I also have a personal distrust of the campus police. I wish there was a way for me to have an escort without feeling uncomfortable or like I am wasting someone’s time.

10 02 2009
Stephanie

When I used the escort service, it was my first week of my first year. The escort service does not typically pick up students from far away locations, but I had involuntarily been kept overnight at Lawrence Memorial. Very, very kindly, they sent someone out to pick me up. The driver wasn’t friendly, but he wasn’t rude either.

I haven’t used the escort service since, but your points are spot on! I also think that a lot of people will find themselves in a situation where they need the escort, but they convince themselves that they don’t need to go THAT far. I think that Tufts has to make it VERY clear when students should call, and, naturally, dispatchers and drivers need to be much more polite.

10 02 2009
feminist1

They actually will take you from on-campus to off-campus, but the other way around is trickier. Last time I took the escort, I asked them and they said they would take from off-campus to on-campus, but only if it isn’t far away. But I have heard that there are people who have been told that they cannot take it from off-campus locations.

11 02 2009
feminist2

Once I called the escort service to drive me from the Capen House back uphill and the female officer who drove me back was very rude to me and complained to me about how long she had to wait for me to come out, and how I should’ve called “the second I was stepping outside and ready to go.”

12 02 2009
Melissa

When I had a broken foot and there was snow and ice everywhere, I had to get to Gnomon Copy so I called the escort service and explained that I needed a ride. The dispatcher was extremely rude, and argued with me, saying it wasn’t a “free taxi” or a “limo service” and I should just walk. The officer who brought me also was rude. I told him I would be right out but he drove away without saying a word and did not come back. This and other experiences with the escort service have made me reluctant to use it even late at night or in dangerous situations. Protecting students through the escort service is part of the campus police’s job, and they should not have such an attitude about doing their job. Tufts boasts about the escort service and “encourages” students to use it, but many of the dispatchers and officers seem to do just the opposite. If they really want to keep us safe, they should stop acting like we’re the ones being a pain and do what we pay them to do.

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