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Letter to the Editor

On September 30, 2012

Saturday night, hoards of Xavier students shared one common goal - go downtown and celebrate Oktoberfest with thousands of fellow Cincinnatians. The Student Activities Council
(SAC) was kind enough to organize transportation for Xavier students between 6:30 and 11 p.m. for Xavier in the form of a singular, standard-sized school bus. While this was organized with the best of intentions and we truly appreciate their efforts, the night ended with us mildly fearing for our own safety. On the way to Oktoberfest, we were told to fit three students to a seat, which isn't entirely legal unless you're cramming primarysized students into the seats. But this was doable, no real fear here. However, on the way back, things got a little more dangerous and a little more illegal. We got to the church where the bus was scheduled to pick us up, and there was already a decent crowd of Xavier students sitting on the stairs waiting. Once the bus was seen coming down the street, the group all stood up and surged towards the bus, pus hing and shoving in an effort to assure themselves a spot on the bus. As the doors opened, students began flooding the bus, quickly filling the seats. As more students pushed their way onto the bus, an announcement was made that as long as you were sitting, you could be on the bus. On average, from what we could see, there were four to five people per seat, plus a clump of people crammed in the aisle, including
one person from our group. Now, the average bus has between 25-28 seats and, legally speaking, only two college-sized people should be in a seat, giving the bus a max capacity of 56 people. If we average four students per seat, that puts the bus at double the capacity, not including the seats that contained more than four students or the students in the aisle.
The bus being over capacity in and of itself is a concern bec ause school buses are far from known for their safety, but can you imagine if the bus crashed? Or if an officer pulled the bus over and saw how many students were crammed into the bus? Not only could the bus driver and bus company get into trouble, but Xavier and SAC could have been held responsible and could be facing lawsuits. While we appreciate SAC's efforts and understand it was a hectic situation with no better solution at the time, a plan B should have been created. This could have been in the form of a second bus on call or
even taxi cards to hand out that anyone who has attended an offcampus SAC event knows they possess. We hope that SAC learns from this fiasco and doesn't under estimate
the students' desire to go out to the city and have a good time. -Concerned students  

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