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RamRide volunteers make memories helping CSU students get home

While some students choose to party on weekends, others volunteer to drive them home safely and come away with notable stories.

Colorado State University offers students free rides every weekend in the form of RamRide. According to the RamRide website, the service is “A free, safe, non-judgmental ride home for CSU students.”

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The program, which is often staffed by volunteers from student organizations, was founded in 2003 and is supported by student fees.

Sophomore Sam Nolledo, a political science major and member of CSU’s Model United Nations, has volunteered a few times with RamRide.

“It’s a fun time because I love driving,” Nolledo said.

Nolledo said that when an organization signs up to volunteer for RamRide, they have to go through training and an orientation before they are allowed to start. RamRide also provides drivers with cars and each car is set up with a driver and a navigator.

“You have a ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ type of policy,” Nolledo said.  “We’re not going to ask what happened, we’re just going to drive you around.”

Driving for RamRide often produces fun stories and adventures, but Nolledo said driving for them is particularly fun for him, because he gets to see all the different parts of Fort Collins.

“You meet the more amicable people late at night where people just want to keep talking, and it’s nice to hear your story.” Sam Nolledo, sophomore Political Science major

“There was this one time where I basically got to do a tour of Fort Collins,” Nolledo said. “She comes out, I was like, ‘Where do you wanna go?’ She told me to just drive all the way across Fort Collins. We just spent the next 30 minutes driving all across town and having a good conversation. I thought that was fun.”

Nolledo said he hasn’t personally experienced any misadventures while driving with the program but has heard of people who have.  

“One friend of mine had someone throw up in the back,” Nolledo said. “That’s a big mess because you have to go back to the (Lory Student Center) to tell them to get it cleaned up. It’s a real hassle.”

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Junior Lauren Thompson, a languages, literatures and cultures major and a member of the CSU Climbing Team, said she drives for RamRide about four times a year.

“A few months ago, my friend Sara and I drove for RamRide and we sang ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire with them and we really went hard,” Thompson said. “We ended up giving them another ride later in the night and they got really excited and started yelling when we pulled up, because they got to sing again.”

Thompson said she really enjoyed the experience.

Nolledo said his favorite time to drive is towards the end of the night.

“The end of the night is fun,” Nolledo said. “You start to get tired around 1:45 or 2 a.m.; it’s nice to just chill in a parking lot and listen to nice music as you wait for someone to call.”

RamRide operates Thursdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. To order one, students can either call 970-491-3333 or download the RamRide app, which works a lot like Uber or Lyft. 

Nolledo said that, although fewer people call for rides towards the end of the night, the most interesting people often choose to get picked up around that time.

“You meet the more amicable people late at night where people just want to keep talking and it’s nice to hear your story,” Nolledo said.

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.

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