By KARINA CORDOVA
The Manhattanville Valiant Express has been running until 3:30AM on weekends for years. The school administration recently discontinued the 2:30AM–3:30AM weekend bus, dubbed the “drunk bus” by administration and students, and added 7:30AM– 9:30AM weekday morning buses in its place.
The student body received an email on August 21, 2015, informing the students that “[t]he Valiant Express will run between 7:30AM–9:30AM Monday – Friday starting at the White Plains Transit Center. The last bus to return to campus on Friday and Saturday will be at 1:30AM.” These schedule changes have impacted many students at Manhattanville, although students disagree on whether to support or protest the new schedule.
The 2:30AM-3:30AM weekend Valiant Express, though commonly called the “drunk bus,” was used regularly by non-drinking students as well.
Junior Brianna Cupples was forced to call friends frantically one Saturday night at 2AM because she had been stranded in White Plains after returning to school from her Manhattan internship.
She said, “Working for my internship is becoming too large of an expense now that the Valiant is shortening their hours.”
According to Sharlise Smith-Rodriguez, Dean of Students, “the reason for the weekend late night bus cancellation was because the school must be in compliance with the the Drug Free Schools & Community Act.” The shuttle to the bars is an indirect violation of the law.
Smith-Rodriguez explained that violation of the Drug Free Schools & Community Act can result in a loss of “financial assistance to students if the institution is aware of conduct that encourages the use of illicit drugs or underage consumption of alcohol on or off campus.”
The Dean went on to say that this is the school’s way of teaching students to be more responsible: “In the real world there won’t be a free Valiant bus. As adults there has to be a designated driver or call a cab service.”
Students might miss the 2:30AM– 3:30AM weekend bus, but the 7:30AM–9:30AM weekday morning bus has benefited both students and faculty in their morning commute.
Senior Violet Foulk says, “The new buses in the morning are really useful for commuters coming onto campus and for students heading to White Plains or New York City for internships and jobs. It’s really beneficial to have this option instead of paying the fare for the public bus.”
Smith-Rodriguez adds, “An average of 50 students and faculty members are using this morning service. We are still collecting data to see if we will continue this service.”
These changes have benefited many and disappointed others, but according to Smith-Rodriguez, the morning schedule is here to stay, and the infamous “drunk bus” will not be returning anytime soon.