10.09.2009

Friday Frustrations #1-IU Safety Escort: Access Denied

"Well the jokes on you Douchey Mc Douche bag because, I called your supervisor."--What happenes when an evening @ Qdoba goes array.

The IUSA Safety Escort Department provides safe evening transportation for women and men who would otherwise be walking alone.They proudly advertise that their services "will assist you in safely reaching both on- and off-campus locations." It's a nice sentiment really. It would be an even better sentiment if they actually performed the advertised services. Instead, IUSA Safety Escort is a service which leaves students abandoned on a case conditional base to walk home thus executing a service of neither safety nor escorting.

Late last night, or rather early this morning, a friend and I got the study muchies and on a whim ended up at Qdoba. After many chips, and a few laughs we were satisfied and decided to head home. Great plan, except for the part where apparently Noah is building a second arc and it's been raining for 47hrs straight. It was also around 1 am and no more than 60 degrees outside. After realizing, at this big 10 school, it was Thirty Thursday we decided perhaps these weren't exactly the safest conditions for two, college-aged, female, students to be strolling about in. We called Safety Escort.

Around 1:05 am the IUSA S. Escort driver rolled by the Law school. I reached for the handle of the van, seeking shelter from the rain, to which the passenger seat coordinator replied, "you weren't coming from the law school were you?" Confused and somewhat agitated I stared back blankly thinking, "what the hell?!" He continued by stating, "sorry this is an academic service and if you weren't coming from the law school then..." By this time it was evident he was not going to take us home. Perhaps on an episode of Punk'd, I smiled and said, "What, are you telling me to close the door?" To which he boldly replied, "Yes, that is what I'm saying." Apparently, Tool Academy is missing a contestant because this guy had no shame in turning down probably the two most sober people he saw that night. I tried explaining that we were unaware of the sudden policy change and that perhaps he should, just this time, take us the 6mins home. He drove away.

Well the jokes on you Douchey Mc Douche bag because, I called your supervisor. Some people don't like jobs during the recession. So I handled that for him. IUSA claims that the decision was made based on the fact that the policy is now on an academic basis. As the passenger coordinator stated, "I don't see any backpacks," and I'm not denying that we weren't studying but, that doesn't mean that we were guaranteed any more or less safety. I let the supervisor know that no where in the stated online or University policy does it state that IUSA Safety Escort is now strictly an academic service. It is however a service which I pay for and expect to use as I see fit. There is no reason why two young girls should be forced to walk home in the rain at 1 am when there is a service which supposedly caters to preventing those very affects. I hate to be a cynic but, suppose something really did happen. Suppose we were kidnapped. Suppose we were raped. Suppose that in complete irony the drunk bus hadn't rolled by to pick up my friend and I. Luckily however, it did.

Most disturbing, was the treatment upon denial of the services. It's one thing to tell a student 'these are the clearly established rules which were agreed upon before services given.' It wasn't until after the Safety Escort vehicle arrived, that the access denied decision was made. Granted it may not be a religion, racial, or even gender thing but, it was still a denial of service based upon assumptions of appearances. If that's not discrimination, I'm not sure what is.

A few days away from the 10th anniversary of Jill Behrman's abduction and death. She was an IU student the same age and working for the same company as I. Talk about a coincidence. It's also less than the year anniversary of the IU slasher, a man who attacked not one, but, several students late one October night. With such history it's hard to believe that the IUSA Safety Escort would right off anyone but, especially two college-aged females under such circumstances. I try not to think that perhaps the hijabs made him feel more 'safe' in allowing us to walk home, who would rape a hijabi, right? Wrong, bad things happen everyday irregardless of religious beliefs. But, again, if that's not discrimination, I'm not sure what is.

So if IUSA Safety Escort provides a service of neither safety nor escort, what sort of service are they providing?

11 comments:

Nessa said...

Welll...i know this kind of kills it..but at least you got home safely, right? :)
..but i do agree, shame, shame ,shame.

ModestJustice said...

WTH?!
Alhamdulillah you got home!
It's good you talked to the supervisor! That really is discrimination and you -if possible- should get your money back!

meno said...

Wow. The ignorance is astonishing.

Autumn said...

Epic night in our college history.

Constructive Attitude said...

wow what a jerk.that is such B.S.

Im glad you called his supervisor.

z-dizzle said...

i can't believe he denied you! that stupid S.O.B....i hope he gets fired and IUSA changes their policy online, You should sue ;)

Aria said...

What a sanctimonious twit! Just cause you didn't have a book bag? That would've made me want to swat his knees with a police baton. I think maybe a couple of local news stations should also get phone calls. You'll never get denied again!

Anonymous said...

Friend request- denied.

Mrs. Sabreiah said...

Tomorrow I have a hearing with a judge to look over my case && then make his decision as to what to do with my record. I was arrested awhile back.. I didn't think it had anything to do with discrimination.. till I started to be repeatedly hounded to take off my hijab. Then when I told my father the story.. && then others.. I have now come to realize that I have been yet another victim to discrimination. Something I refuse to get used to. I say you do make more phone calls.. && take it up with the schoolboard itself. Action makes consequences for those who asked for it in the first place.

Toby Lawhon said...

Though I cannot reassure you that what you experienced was not discrimination with 100% confidence, I can tell you that as a former employee of Safety Escort, we experienced numerous cases of abuse of the service. Often these were drunk folks, shoppers, or cafe visitors, making their way up to the law school or Sample Gates in an effort to gain a free lift. This often swamped our service, and increased our wait times by as much as 2-3 hours...especially on Thursdays through Saturdays. Those that suffered from this abuse were often folks studying somewhere on campus or attempting to get to campus from their residence. These are the people that this service exists for.

Like I said previously, I doubt this was discrimination. This is a legitimate policy that exists for good reason. I am not quite sure why you weren't told over the phone that we don't pick up there. My best guess is that this early in the year, some newbies simply got it wrong and were corrected by the director last minute.

I only comment here because discrimination (especially religious types toward Muslim Americans) is something that I personally take very seriously, as a former member of interfaith organizations. Your insinuations that you were targeted should be made with great caution. Of course I can't guarantee that what happened was not such a case of religious discrimination, since I no longer am an employee of Safety Escort and am not familiar with any of the employees, but I do highly doubt it for all the reasons stated previously. I am sorry that you were forced to ride the drunk bus, and that you were potentially misled over the phone. That certainly is regrettable.

All the best,

Toby L

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

Toby,

Thanks for taking the time to write that. I must admit this post was written with more anger than fact. At the same time however I think it is important to clearly and articulately cite the policy on the website or in such a form where discrimination is not open to being questioned. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the entire experience was the lack of respect we were treated with. I don't mind being told that I am in violation of the services I a mind being scoffed at in the middle of a down pour. In the same amount of time it took the drivers to mock us they could have just as easily said, "hey girls, I know it's raining but, this is really is against our policies..."