The Ohio State Parents Fund made a donation to OSU Student Safety Services that funded the purchase of two new vehicles to enhance safety resources for students and provide more reliable rides.
The donation of about $60,000 bought two 2016 Ford Explorers as well as the lights and radios that allow Student Safety Service to communicate directly with the police, said Sean Bolender, Student Safety Service program coordinator.
“(Parents Fund) is a big supporter and we’re immensely grateful for them for being able to see the need to have a program like Student Safety Service on campus and then take action and do something about it to make our vehicles more reliable and dependable for students on campus,” Bolender said.
Parents Fund uses donations from parents of current OSU students as well as alumni to advance the overall well-being and experiences that the students have on campus, according to its website.
“Seeing other university departments commit to safety is great to see that that culture is there,” Bolender said. “We’re not butting heads. There’s a lot of collaboration that goes on inside of OSU to make sure students are staying safe.”
Parents Fund donated money in the past for Student Safety Service to purchase two Subaru SUVs. The safety service now has two 2016 Ford Explorers, four Subaru SUVs and three 2006 Dodge Caravans to transport students around campus.
The Department of Public Safety has plans to repurpose the Dodge Caravans for Operation Safeguard, an initiative operated by the the Department of Public Safety that performs safety patrols east of North High Street.
“Eight hours of city driving is very difficult on a vehicle so we’ve used them well past what should have been their service life,” Bolender said regarding the Caravans and replacing them with the new vehicles.
Bolender said Student Safety Service offers between 20,000 and 25,000 rides per year to OSU students, and without the donations from Parents Fund, Student Safety Service would not be able to have as many reliable vehicles and give as many rides.
Jen Holbrook, a fourth-year in exercise science, said she is a frequent user of Student Safety Service.
“I use it late at night on my way home from the library, usually between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.,” she said.
Holbrook said that Student Safety Service is the best way for her to stay safe when she walks to her home off campus and she is happy that there is an organization out there that continues to help provide safety for her as a student.
“I think it’s great that (Parents Fund) donated money for extra cars — that way there’s more availability because it can be hard to find rides at certain times,” she said.