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Editorial

Student safety around local bars should be high priority for UWRF

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September 25, 2015

Students at UW-River Falls have plenty of options on where to go get drunk.

Considering how small River Falls is as a city, there are definitely more than enough bars and stores to get your fixing for alcohol alleviated.

There is nothing wrong with getting drunk; the important thing to remember, though, is that one must do so safely.

Most college campuses will give students information, whether that’s through messages around campus or one of those awkward stage performances about the dangers of drinking improperly. This information often revolves around the act of drinking, ignoring, crucially, what happens after.

Robert Sontag, a student here at UWRF, died last may after he went missing. Before his body was found in the Kinnickinnic River, he had been last seen leaving a bar after a night of drinking, trying to make his way home.
It is events like this which we can only hope encourage students to take care of themselves when they go out to house parties or to bars at night.

The problem many students face is that they have no ride back to their homes. Not many people enjoy being the sober cab while the rest of their friends drink, so students may be at risk of having to walk back to their homes alone at night. But UWRF will hopefully soon be remedying that issue. Student senate has recently discussed the possibility of employing vehicles to ferry students from the bars around town back to the safety of their homes or dorms.

One big question now for these buses is how they would be paid for. Does UWRF pay for it with some of its funds? Will students have to pay for it each time they ride the bus? It’s not definite yet. The Voice would certainly suggest that the buses are paid for from someone’s pockets besides students who have just spent their money on shots and bar food. If students have to pay for these buses, there will be far less motivation to take them rather than walking back home. There is really no excuse to not take a bus if it’s free, so if student safety is as important to UWRF officials as they make it seem, then the buses will come at no additional charge to them.

If students had a safe alternative to walking home, or even driving drunk, future accidents could be effectively prevented. After the incident with Sontag, and with some roads around campus being dangerous (consider the two UWRF staff members who were sent to the hospital after a collision on Cascade Ave. last spring), UWRF staff should be working to implement this idea for the sake of its students.