Too much drunken fuss on the magic bus

Drinkers, grab your broomsticks: The witching hour bus rounds from B-town and back may soon be extinct, making a Nimbus 2000 your last suitable alternative to walking. Affectionately and colloquially known as the Drunk Bus, UVM’s safe, reliable system of late-night transportation provides students with protection en route back to campus. A veritable magic school bus sans Ms. Frizzle and her affectionate pet reptile, off-campus busing is a great way for students to stay safe and for the University to show that they care. Every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the wheels on the bus roll ‘round and ‘round, schlepping students all through town and campus as late as midnight. Thursdays through Saturdays one may count on campus-sponsored busing as late as 3 a.m. with the last off-campus bus departing from the Cherry Street Rite Aid at a quarter to three. However, concerns have been raised recently in light of some excessive displays of unruliness from students — particularly the drunks. To be clear, I am not insinuating that all riders of the late-night shuttle are intoxicated, nor that intoxication necessarily renders one impetuous. I only intend to illustrate to readers that the contentious behavior disquieting officials stems from a very small portion of the student body. Again, the actions of few are giving way to a stereotype being reflected on the student body and putting yet another student privilege in jeopardy. The late-night transit provides students with a wealth of serious benefits on top of a reliable, sober ride and deserves protection. Busing students reduces the amount of noise on the streets as well as chaos on the road, putting less strain on residents and granting parents sound sleep knowing their children are safe from the belligerent noise of the plastered patrol on their trek back to campus. I concluded last week with a call to action: Students need to prove that we can have fun conscientiously, that we have earned the right the run a bit wild but can do so without taxing others. UVM students should not have to be thought of as thorns in Burlington’s side or university liabilities. Rather, we should be seen as assets, helping local businesses thrive and intellectualism flourish within the community. I’m not saying that that means shaking hands with every person on Church Street or helping every man, woman, child and puppy cross downtown streets — though they certainly would be nice gestures. But vomiting on the late-night shuttle is no way to prove your maturity, nor is it very respectful to the institution providing it so you don’t have to stumble up Main Street at two in the morning when it’s 15 degrees out and sleeting. As the old adage goes: You can’t have your cake and puke on it too. Amenities such as the late-night bus transit are privileges; privileges we run the risk of losing if changes in behavior aren’t made. Those who choose to use the shuttle as a designated system of sober transport need to clean up or walk up if it is to continue providing students with safe transportation from downtown back to campus.