Shuttle and Union hours expected to change after spring break

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The Student Senate heard the proposed revisions to the shuttle bus schedule and the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union hours at their meeting Wednesday night.

Lynette Drake, the interim vice president for student affairs, presented the revisions to senators and said it was necessary to reduce the hours.

“We have to be prepared,” Drake said. “We tried to be as efficient as possible with the fewest number of people possible to try to make this work.”

Drake said there were two positions for bus drivers that became vacant last semester and as a result of the recent layoffs and hiring freeze, student affairs was unable to fill the positions.

However, Drake said because of the five temporary drivers that have offered to help out as much as they could, the shuttle bus system was able to get by with its regular schedule.

Drake said if an appropriation is not passed by the time students go on spring break then the positions cannot be filled and the temporary workers will not be readily available, resulting in the reduction of shuttle bus hours.

“We’re hoping to be able to fill those two positions because then we’ll be able to keep our shuttle bus schedule the same,” Drake said. “We won’t know until we find out next week whether or not there’s something that comes through in Springfield.”

Drake said the university needs to get through the school year and the revised hours will most likely be in effect after spring break.

Drake said it will give them the summer to regroup and figure out if they can start the next year on the regular schedule.

“We’re not throwing away any of the old (schedule) cards,” Drake said. “We’re hanging on to all that stuff because we fully intend for the schedule to be up and running again in the fall.”

Drake said Lt. John Hatfill, the interim chief of police, Jennifer Sipes, the special assistant to the vice president for student affairs and two of the full-time bus drivers helped create the revised schedule.

They decided to base the schedule off of the peak times when students were most likely to ride the bus.

Currently, there are two full-time drivers and one part-time driver operating the buses.

According to the revised schedule, starting at 3 p.m. from Monday through Friday, there will only be one shuttle bus operating as opposed to two and the shift will end at 9 p.m.

“Originally we were looking at about a 30 percent hour reduction which would have ended at about 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m.,” Drake said. “We think that it’s important for students to get out of class, relax for a little bit, have a meal, get to the grocery store, have time to do what they need to do and make arrangements for doing that knowing that the bus will end at nine and to be back by then.”

Drake said because the part-time driver was willing to put in some extra hours they were able to extend the hours to 9 p.m.

Drake said the weekend hours will be the same as the revisions made to the weekday schedule since they only have three drivers and said the reduction of hours is not ideal.

“We really don’t have much of a choice,” Drake said. “We had to take into consideration the required lunch break for drivers and we can’t have them go over shifts because they can only work a certain number of hours.”

The MLK Union also took a hit and is now preparing for a reduction in hours in order to get through the semester.

According to the revision sheets given to senators, from Monday through Thursday the building hours will remain the same but the hours for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will change.

The union will close at 11 p.m. on Friday instead of 1 a.m. and at 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday instead of 1 a.m. on Saturday and 11 p.m. on Sunday.

From Monday through Thursday, the bookstore will close at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m and will be closed on Saturday.

The Panther Print and Copy center will now be open from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and the ticket office will be open from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The bowling lanes will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]