RamRide looking for new home

One of the more popular and successful programs created by the Associated Students of CSU may be finding a new home in the next few years.

RamRide, the safe ride program that provides over 1,000 rides home to students every weekend, is getting “too big of a program for ASCSU to operate,” said RamRide Director Chelsey Green.

The Associated Students of CSU's program RamRide is currently being considered to move to Off-Campus Life. Only preliminary talks have happened and it would continue to be student run.
The Associated Students of CSU’s program RamRide is currently being considered to move to Off-Campus Life. Only preliminary talks have happened and it would continue to be student run.

“My goal for RamRide personally would be to move RamRide outside of ASCSU eventually,” Green said. “Right now, that water is still kind of muddy as to what that would like.”

Green said RamRide is using up an increasing amount of human capital, monetary value and makes it hard for ASCSU to “be able to innovate or come up with any new services.”

ASCSU President Regina Martel said the goal of finding a new home for RamRide would be to increase the consistency and sustainability of the program.

“That can be a lot of different things, from legality to funding to the volunteer culture of the program,” Martel said.

If and when RamRide leaves ASCSU, it would join a long line of programs that began in ASCSU and had to leave because they got too big. Legal Services, Off-Campus Life, A.S.A.P. and SLiCE all started in ASCSU and eventually spun off into their own departments.

“ASCSU is at its maximum bandwidth with RamRide,” Martel said. “We have to be able to make room for the next big thing to come to ASCSU.”

Over the next two or three years possible options include partnering with Off-Campus life, SLiCE or Campus Activities, and hiring an advisor strictly for RamRide.

Even with the transition to another organization, ASCSU would still have some level of involvement with RamRide, Green said.

Martel said Off-Campus life is a good candidate to oversee RamRide because the department has deep ties to the city of Fort Collins.

In an e-mail to the Collegian, Off-Campus Life Director Jeannie Ortega said it’s still too early know if RamRide will be incorporated into Off-Campus Life.

“Discussions with Off-Campus Life have been preliminary, and no decisions have been made,” Ortega said. “However, we are very supportive of RamRide and care about its success in serving our students and community.”

Other measures are also being looked at to ensure consistency within RamRide.

ASCSU currently funds the $119,000 yearly operating budget for RamRide, which means funding is uncertain from year to year — something Green would like to see changed as well.

Currently, Green is working with the university and ASCSU to secure short term funding for the next year or two. After that, funding options include making RamRide a separate student fee area or otherwise receiving funding outside ASCSU.

“Right now we’re trying to take steps and then next year we’ll try to get everything set up and kind of pull the rug out,” Green said.

Other big changes on the table include having the RamRide director selected by the RamRide Advisory Board, as opposed to the incoming ASCSU administration, who currently determines who holds the position.

Likewise, Green wants to see the deputy director hired by the newly created advisor position and RamRide Director instead of ASCSU.

“The hope is to provide consistency to RamRide…” Green said, noting that things “can become political” with ASCSU leaders possibly selecting a new director every year.

Even with the addition of a paid advisor and possible relocation to a different department on campus, Green said the core value of having the program run by students for students will not change.

“No power or supervision will be taken away from the students,” she added.

Senior Reporter Austin Briggs can be reached at news@collegian.com.