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Concerns in Henley

Henley have asked for more frequent and later shuttles to and from the University in the wake of a recent spattering of attacks around campus.

Dean of Students Danny Trujillo said he was contacted by the Henley Hall Council and Resident Director Scott Patton saying that residents had issues regarding the shuttles.

“After learning of some of the initial concerns, I suggested I could go to Henley to listen and discuss their experiences directly with residents,” Trujillo said in an email to the Torch. “After discussing the best way to connect with the residents, it was decided I should attend the next Henley Hall Council meeting.”

The Henley Hall Council meeting took place on Oct. 10. Sophomore Callista Faria said she felt Trujillo was understanding of the issue the students faced.

“The meeting was more so students stating our issues with the shuttle, which he was very understanding of, and agreed we weren’t asking for much,” she said. “I was told the next day meetings had already been arranged to start working on solutions.”

“Sometimes it’s not always the most convenient way,” Faria said of the shuttles. “If you miss one shuttle, the next one usually isn’t for an hour and a half, and when bad weather comes walking or waiting are both going to be inconvenient.”

Faria said she was concerned with the number of recent incidents around campus and doesn’t feel always safe walking to and from Henley.

“Getting the public safety emails about harassment and attempted robbery doesn’t really help me feel safe,” she said. “Especially since most of those attacks actually did happen in broad daylight.”

“The last two shuttles for the night – there’s almost a two hour gap between them, which isn’t really accommodating.”

The shuttles, currently provided by Peter Pan Bus Lines, run from the ROTC parking lot near Gate 6 and drop students off directly in front of Henley.

Students have also expressed to the Torch that drivers of the shuttles have frequently been talking on their cell phones while driving. While Trujillo did not directly confirm that these complaints have been made, he said he is working with Peter Pan to solve any problems students might be having.

“After the Henley Hall Council meeting, I communicated the concerns collected to the bus company,” he said. “Jackie Lochrie [Associate Dean for Student Services] and I have reviewed those concerns with Peter Pan management this week.”

Chris Crean, vice preseident of safety and security for Peter Pan Bus Lines, said the company has a zero tolerance policy towards drivers using phones, and any student who may catch a driver doing so should directly call his office and report the driver.

He told the Torch Peter Pan is currently working to install on-board cameras that would catch any drivers in the act of using their cell phones.

Trujillo also urged students having any problems to contact him and voice their concerns.

“To enhance the voice and gain immediate input of students, we created an email list students can use to send their questions, concerns and compliments regarding their experiences when using the shuttle routes- shuttle@stjohns.edu.”

Since the initial meeting, Trujillo said further discussions with the students of Henley have been planned. “It is our intention to expand this committee for all students in order to review and improve all routes of this transportation option for students,” he said.

According to Trujillo, the University’s contract with Peter Pan is approaching its end and the school is considering its options.

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