The Gustavian Weekly

Vandalism affects student bus service: Damage to the Nicollet County Bank cause Gus Bus to lose a stop | The Gustavian Weekly

By Ella Napton - Staff Writer | November 18, 2016 | News

The Gus Bus has become a staple around campus as its popularity has continued growing throughout the years. Sponsored by the Student Senate, it offers rides to students on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday each week.

The Nicollet County Bank no longer feels that they can host the Gus Bus drop-off pick-up location. – JoNes Van Hecke

It is used frequently by students to get to and from St. Peter and campus.

For many, it is the only form of transportation from Gustavus due to many students not having a car. For others, it is the only way to attend important community events, such as the Presidential election that took place on Nov. 8.

Ranging from first years to seniors, the Gus Bus plays an important role in socialization and safe weekends. Without the service, there are many accidents that could come from things such as drunk driving. It is an important part of keeping both our campus and the community of St. Peter safe.

According to an email sent to the student body by the Student Senate co-presidents, Alex Shaikoski and Herchran Singh, the Gus Bus is “a unique partnership between Student Senate and the City of St. Peter Transit” and “As students, [they] recognize the immense inconvenience if the Gus Bus were to cease operation.”

There have been few negative run ins with students, the Gus Bus, and the City of St. Peter until an incident that occurred two weeks ago. Before then, the students and Gus Bus have worked fairly well together.

Workers at the Nicollet County Bank noticed property damage after a popular night for students to use the Gus Bus.

Due to this incident, in an email sent by Dean of Students JoNes Van Hecke, “the Nicollet County Bank no longer feels that they can host the Gus Bus drop-off/pick-up location.”

Although it still remains to be determined if a student was truly responsible for the damage done to the bank, the Gus Bus route has been changed due to the incident. It is understandable that the Nicollet County Bank would request a reroute because of the damage done to their property.

In the same email sent by Van Hecke, she says “that [we] have a moral obligation to be good and kind to St. Peter businesses and residents by respecting their property.”

Although we, as students, live in our own bubble of sorts up on the hill we tend to forget that we reside in a town that is separate from us. We are expected to shine a positive light on Gustavus and its students and through this incident that has been tainted–even if a Gustavus student is not responsible.

In the same email sent to the student body from the Student Student co-presidents Shaikoski and Singh, it states that “It is up to all of us, as students, to hold one another accountable to ensure the Gus Bus remains a safe and respectful place. Student conduct on the Gus Bus is our shared responsibility. For the hundreds of respectful riders who use the Gus Bus, we call on you to make sure the Gus Bus is being used in a safe and appropriate manner.”

Gustavus is committed to being a good partner with our community members and takes damage to other property very seriously. – Carol Brewer

According to director of Campus Safety, Carol Brewer, this incident is currently being investigated by “both the police and Campus Safety.”

She has been able to see camera footage from the bank and is currently trying to identify who is responsible, but no other details are available for students right now.

Furthermore, Brewer says that “Gustavus is committed to being a good partner with our community members and takes damage to other property very seriously.”

The key to making the Gus Bus a success is holding one another “accountable” according to the Student Senate. If property continues to be damaged because of Gustavus students the Student Senate will “have no choice but to cancel the program.”

If anyone has any information or was involved with the defacing of the Nicollet County Bank, Campus Safety would like to be contacted at 933-8809. It is important to come forward with information to ensure the continuation of the impeccable resource the Gus Bus has become on Gustavus’ campus and for the St. Peter community as a whole.