- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa President Sally Mason has authorized the purchase of a second van for a late-night campus transportation program for women.

University Assistant Vice President Chuck Green told the Iowa City Press-Citizen (https://icp-c.com/1cBhJHL ) that Mason had OK’d the purchase of another vehicle for the Nite Ride service, which operates each night from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Nearly 2,400 women used the service in January and February.

That number is up slightly from the same period last year.

“I really don’t know” why the numbers are up, said Green, who oversees the UI Department of Public Safety. “We did nothing special. Nite Ride is pretty popular.”

The university will spend $54,789 on the new 15-passenger van.

Mason announced plans to buy the van as part of her six-point plan to reduce sexual assaults on campus. She outlined her plan to the Board of Regents last week after being criticized for saying earlier that despite the university’s best efforts, ending sexual assault probably wasn’t realistic, “just given human nature.”

The issue has come up more recently because the university since August has issued 10 campus warnings after receiving reports of sexual assaults, which can range from unwanted touching to rape. In a change from earlier policies, the UI now issues such warning emails upon receiving reports of sexual misconduct, even if people choose not to file a report with police.

Green said Nite Ride drivers have the right to refuse service to passengers who are too intoxicated to stand or are vomiting, but the drivers never leave students to fend for themselves.

“We transport many intoxicated passengers,” he said. “The safety of our students is always our top priority, and we never leave anyone alone who approaches our Nite Ride vehicle.”


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, https://www.press-citizen.com/

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