The shuttles for students traveling to airports offered before and after break by the Student Government Association (SGA) have been a point of contention between students, parents and members of SGA. SGA offers shuttles to and from the Cleveland and Canton-Akron airports for each major break — fall, spring, Thanksgiving, winter and summer. To utilize the shuttles, students must register through a link provided via an email that SGA sends out. The link is typically sent a couple of weeks before any break occurs and carries a late fee for registrations past the provided date.
Just in setting up this program, SGA president Emilee McCubbins ’20 noted that she has to execute many negotiations and programs to alert students— coordination with transportation to set up the link, and with the shuttles themselves to check seats with the Business Office. Alongside that, SGA also sends out frequent reminders, hangs posters and answers many questions from parents and students. Grace O’Leary ’20, SGA service chair who is in charge of shuttles, stated that she also has to create surveys, monitor who boards and keep track of walk-ons in order to charge their account later.
Within this round of shuttles for fall break, there has been a huge uptick in late registrations and disrespectful comments from both students, parents and professional staff according to McCubbins and O’Leary. McCubbins specifically noted that she had “countless students, ten parents and two college staff” reach out to her regarding late transportation. In almost all instances, McCubbins indicated that the messages have been “curt” or have posed accusations against SGA. O’Leary added that she had received over 20 emails from students to book a seat after the purchase date.
It is important to note that SGA provides these shuttles voluntarily, and that the program is not associated with the school. McCubbins and O’Leary understand the frustration of dealing with a late fee but provide these services to make travel for students accessible. In one instance, McCubbins stated that a student accused the implementation of a late fee to be illegal, because it was discriminatory against students who had forgotten to register. Parents have also contacted McCubbins and O’Leary days before break ended and accused SGA of “stranding” people at the airport simply because they did not care. Online, one parent noted that they disliked that their child had to sit at the airport for a few hours and feared for their safety. McCubbins was concerned about the general misunderstanding between SGA and parents about how the shuttles are entirely student-run and that they are not associated with the administration in any way.
O’Leary stated that SGA will do more in the future to bold deadlines so that the closing date is more visible. McCubbins also stressed that SGA has discussed many avenues to improve the shuttle system due to how many issues arose over the past fall break. This included possibly cutting the Akron shuttle in favor of a Columbus shuttle and eliminating the possibility of walk-ons. O’Leary noted that when walk-ons do not buy a ticket but show up anyway, it may take a seat away from a student who did buy a ticket. This is why O’Leary stated that SGA will not allow students to purchase a ticket who send late e-mails to reserve a seat.
McCubbins is happy to see more students utilizing the service that they provide but does not want to be disrespected by parents and students over the shuttles. She added, “We can all go enjoy Thanksgiving break without the added tension of being accused of ruining someone’s experience over a late registration.” O’Leary expressed a similar sentiment of volunteering to carry out the shuttles simply because she loves Wooster. O’Leary simply called for more respect and to book tickets in a timely manner, as to respect her time and the process of obtaining a ticket. She added, “Hopefully there will be a change of heart for Thanksgiving break and students will buy their ticket ahead of time.”