Student Government approved $7,300 to start a campus bike program to allow students to check out biking equipment from the campus fitness center.
“That is something that James [Scott] and I, when we were running, thought would be an important service and aspect to bring to campus,” said SG Vice President Jon Ellington.
Since the bill’s approval, SG President James Scott forwarded the bill to Kent Kelso, regional chancellor for Student Affairs, for final approval.
“Whenever we spend money out of that account, when we do large expenditures throughout the year, the administration has a check on that,” Scott said. “I think it should be approved by [mid-February] by the chancellor.”
Once approved, the bike rentals will likely take place in the parking garage.
Scott said the idea was in place for over a year, but SG only recently got to it. Senator Danny McDonald sponsored the bill.
“I helped draft the bill and come up with ideas for the program,” McDonald said. “But I mainly introduced the bill to [the] committee and the general assembly, and I voice the representation of the students that want to see the program.”
Ellington said they have tentative plans to store the biking equipment at the parking garage.
“Right now, we’re going to need to create a compound within the garage just because of cost,” Ellington said. “By having it anywhere on campus that pretty much wasn’t there, we’d have to go through facilities planning and have them create drafts and bring in outside contractors to do the work. This is a much quicker, easier and cheaper approach to take.”
Once the program is in place, students will be able to check out bikes during the campus fitness center’s operating hours.
“Personally, I love biking and I was talking to the students and they felt like having this as a service on campus,” Ellington said. “It’s something they thought they could take advantage of and support. The main thing was the students saying that this was something that we think would be a good aspect to bring to campus.”
Ellington said when students check out the bikes, they will be also issued a U-lock and a helmet. The rental policy will be similar to the kayak rentals. If students keep the equipment beyond the hours of operation, they will incur a $5 overnight fee. SG plans to purchase 20 single-beach cruisers. If the program is successful, Ellington thinks SG will allocate more funds in the fall.
“I think the campus provides the opportunity to promote active outdoor activities for students,” Scott said. “For students who don’t have a bike, it will offer a chance for them to say, ‘I want to check out downtown.’ This area is well-designed for biking.”
“I think the bill is a new opening for the university in seeing healthier lifestyles, clean transportation and more outreach to the community, especially downtown,” McDonald said.