Golf carts full of students zipping around isn’t an unusual sight for USF’s campus after dark. However, with the recent expansion of Safe Team, a service provided by Student Government (SG) that takes students on free campus rides, the service has moved into daylight.
Safe Team took to the streets and sidewalks during hours outside of their recent expansion on Wednesday. The golf carts provided rides for students to and from class in order to raise awareness for the Safe Team program.
Safe Team’s Wednesday expansion was part of USF’s Safety Week, a week sponsored by SG designed to raise awareness for student safety programs around campus. These programs include Safe Team, University Police and the emergency blue light phones.
“The idea behind the campaign is to help students on campus learn more about the safety resources that we currently have on campus as well as to take this opportunity to promote the resources that Student Government does for students, specifically having to do with Safe Team,” Student Body President Andy Rodriguez said.
This year’s Safety Week is the first of its kind on the Tampa campus. It was supposed to happen back in October but was postponed until March and then finally put on in April.
“We have all the resources, all the things that we need now, so we figured it’s better to have it than to not have it at all,” Rodriguez said.
Throughout the week, SG has been highlighting different student safety services offered on campus through themed Facebook posts. SG has named the combination of all of the services the Safety Squad.
The campaign is important, Rodriguez feels, because student wellness and success is closely tied with knowledge of student safety.
“The safety resources exist for a reason and it’s to keep the students on our campus safe,” Rodriguez said. “… One of the most important things on campus is making sure that students are safe and I know that it’s a priority of the university as well as, you know, the family members and the students themselves. I think if students know about the resources they’re more likely to use them and in turn, not only feel safer but be safer.”
Plans to improve these services beyond increasing Safe Teams’ hours that came during a Senate meeting in March, will not come during the term of Rodriguez and Student Body Vice President Michael Malanga, according to Rodriguez.
“I mean, Safety Week was one of our platform points and one of our platform initiatives,” he said. “We’ve been working on it all year and we hope that kind of what we’ve come up with this year will make it easy for (SG) in the future, if they want to do something similar, they kind of have something to work off of.”