San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Students weigh in on Red & Black shuttle program

The university modified the campus shuttle service by adding an “on-demand” ride service through the SDSU Safe App
Olivia Vargo
Villa Alvarado is one of 14 Red and Black Shuttle pick up and drop off points.

San Diego State has modified the on-campus Red & Black Shuttle, which seeks to provide members of the community mobility and safety travel across campus.

These recent changes, however, have no correlation to the recent reports of sexual violence that have occurred in the College Area, but instead were revamped when the University Police Department (UPD) adopted the program from the Parking and Transportation Services (PATS) on Aug. 30.

On-demand ride service to and from designated campus locations is available from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and on-demand rides are available from 10 p.m. to midnight on weekdays. 

According to a statement from the San Diego State University Police Department (UPD), “Community Service Officers (CSOs) will operate two of the shuttles at a time rotating in different directions. These requests can be made from a designated pick-up location to a designated drop-off location. Riders must present their Red ID in order to take the shuttle.” 

The conversations of whether or not students plan to use the shuttles is left with uncertainty, with some citing they were unaware the services existed.

Mia Hawat, a junior psychology major, said that she knew about the shuttle service, but does not plan to use it. 

“It doesn’t make sense to only have the shuttle weekdays,” she said. “Also, during the week people are studying and (are) inside. The whole point is for the safety of students when they are going out and when they need a ride back home. Girls will resort to using Uber.” 

Instead of using the Red & Black shuttle program, Hawat and her sorority sisters in Kappa Alpha Theta created a different system called “Sober Sisters,” where girls can let each other know if they will need a ride later in the night. 

With the help of Google Sheets to sign up,  sorority members take turns and plan on who will drive on specific weekends. Hawat, however, said that not every sorority has that as a resource. 

“We’re not in La Jolla,” Hawat said when describing the safety concerns in the College Area. “(College Area) can be a scary place, and all these safety protocols and precautions the school is trying to implement are not used to the full extent. If (SDSU) is going to do it, they should go full out.” 

Amireh Boroujeni-Ellington, a senior English literature and comparative international studies major, lives 10 minutes away from campus. She said she was unaware the shuttle existed, but still does not plan to use it.

“Ubers and rideshares do make me feel uncomfortable,” Boroujeni-Ellington said. “But because of (its) convenience, it’s not something I can avoid using completely.” 

In regard to the recently reported off-campus sexual assaults involving rideshare vehicles UPD said in a statement, “The university has and continues to encourage campus community members to review the following safety resources and actions and to be cautious about their safety no matter their location.”  

The SDSU Safe App includes other features along with the shuttle service. 

On the app, there are features such as the Friend Walk. According to the app with this feature, you can send your location in real-time to a friend so they can watch you as you walk to your destination. 

There is also a Social Escape feature where you can enter your number into the app and someone will give you a call to leave an uncomfortable situation. Students can download the app at the app store for more information. 

Editor’s Note: To provide further clarity, part of the story was edited to reflect the fact that the changes to the Red and Black Shuttle Service do not have a correlation to recent reports of sexual violence in the College Area. Mia Hawat is also a junior studying at San Diego State University. 

About the Contributors
Michelle Armas, Staff Writer
Michelle Armas is a Journalism major with a love for storytelling. She was born in Los Angeles, California, but moved to San Diego when she was 10. She is a News, Arts & Culture, and Opinions writer for The Daily Aztec and enjoys every moment of debuting as a journalist. She is part of the Society of Professional Journalists and serves as the secretary of The National Association of Hispanic Journalists on campus. In the academic year of 2022/23, she co-hosted a radio talk show with two other students where they talked about current events and played their favorite music. With her deep curiosity for the world, Michelle hopes to combine different forms of media to share obscure stories of the world creatively.
Olivia Vargo, Staff Writer
Olivia Vargo (she/her/hers) is a first-year Television, Film, and New Media production major from Camas, WA. She loves photography and is excited to see what her future at SDSU holds. She was the team photographer for her local equestrian team all four years of high school and the photographer/student manager for her school’s varsity baseball team in the spring of her senior year. She loves music, art, animals, baseball (specifically the Dodgers), and California’s sunny weather. As a first-year Olivia hopes to gain lots of experiences with the Daily Aztec and explore what they have to offer.