A UT student was walking down Guadalupe at 9 p.m. Oct. 15. He was on the 2000 block, near Target. This was where a transient approached him. The situation escalated quickly. He was pushed, threatened and eventually stabbed in the forearm by the transient.
Violent events regularly occur on and off campus at UT. SURE Walk and SURE Ride help students avoid potentially dangerous situations by providing free, convenient — and most importantly — safe walks and rides back to residential areas on and off campus.
However, with a service like this, wait times are inevitable. All too often, students will call or walk up to the SURE Walk desk in Jester West, find out how long the wait time will be to get a walk or ride home and decide to get home another way. Students walk, bike, scooter, or even Uber home instead of waiting for a SURE Walk, the free and safest option. Waiting a few extra minutes for a safe, free ride home is well worth the time.
Blanca Gamez, assistant director of Parking and Transportation Services, said in an email that, on average, students wait around seven minutes for a walk or ride home from SURE Walk, but this fluctuates depending on the time of year. “During heavy usage times, like midterms and finals, wait times can vary and be anywhere from 11 minutes to 21 minutes,” Gamez said.
Gamez said at the program’s inception, SURE Walk provided limited options, meaning only walks around campus. However, they are taking measures to cut down on long wait times. “We have increased student employees, full-time coordinators, and vehicles,” Gamez said.
Psychology freshman Paola Vazquez said she prefers to use SURE Walk when she has the option. “In comparison to walking, or even riding a scooter, it’s just the safest option,” Vazquez said.
Vazquez lives in Kinsolving and said the walk back from the Perry-Castañeda Library, where she does the majority of her studying, is usually 15 to 20 minutes long. When she uses SURE Walk, her ride usually gets her back even faster than walking would. Most importantly, Vazquez uses SURE Walk because she feels uncomfortable walking back by herself at night.
“I think students need to make the appropriate decision for themselves and their own safety,” Gamez said. “If it’s not SURE Walk, then students need to have some other plan in place that will allow them to travel safely.”
At a university where students are used to receiving alerts detailing violent events occurring on and off campus, the services SURE Walk provides are critically important to the security of the UT community as a whole. The alternatives to SURE Walk are not only expensive, they’re far less safe — especially walking. Don’t jeopardize your safety just to shave a couple of minutes off of your commute. Prioritize your well-being and wait for SURE Walk.
Caldwell is a journalism and Latin American studies sophomore from College Station.