In order to meet the growing demand of their service, SURE Walk has restructured their leadership for this semester to address complaints about wait times and quality of service.
A more comprehensive permanent staff has been implemented, consisting of two associate directors, eight employees, 11 permanent Student Government volunteers and one education and resource director. The new leadership is working to alter their communication methods and service to address efficiency issues, according to Alexandra Mulconnery, associate director of Sure Walk.
SURE Walk is set to launch a new website this Monday with the group’s volunteer handbook, specific policies and revised boundary maps.
“Our mission is not, ‘We are your fastest ride home,’” business honors junior Mulconnery said. “SURE Walk is about safety and comfort on your way home.”
International relations freshman Avery Little said she experienced challenges last Thursday night when she requested a ride from Jester to Duren Residence Hall located near Dean Keeton Street.
According to Little, employees said they were not permitted to cross Dean Keeton that night due to a hit-and-run incident last week where a SURE Walk cart was hit by an oncoming vehicle — no one was injured. Little said after driving her to the corner of Dean Keeton, SURE Walk employees denied her request for them to walk the rest of the way to her dorm.
Blanca Gamez, assistant director of UT’s Parking and Transportation Services, said it is policy to tie up the cart and walk students the rest of the way home.
Though Little has used SURE Walk since the incident and has had better experiences with the service, she said she is still skeptical of their reliability.
“Now I’m definitely afraid to go anywhere at night off campus because I don’t feel like SURE Walk is reliable,” Little said. “I’m not sure they’re going to take me home and make sure I get there.”
Student Government addressed Little’s complaint in a meeting Tuesday by emphasizing to volunteers and employees how important it is to follow policy protocol and make sure to walk students to their final destination and prioritize student safety.
Students like Cassandra Villarreal feel the use of student volunteers hinders the quality of SURE Walk’s service.
“Sometimes I feel like because they’re students and they’re volunteering mostly that they’re not really motivated,” said Villarreal, speech and language pathology sophomore.
As of publication, there is no definite date as to when SURE Walk carts will be able to cross Dean Keeton.