AUSTIN, TX -- SURE Walk, the student-run group that helps UT students get home safely through a buddy walk program, is now expanding and offering rides on golf carts.
The program has expanded with two golf carts that come with seat belts and can seat up to 8 people. In addition, a vehicle was added.
"Golf carts can't exactly travel on main streets, so the vehicle allows us to go on I-35 and where the baseball fields are, as well as West Campus, and some parts of North Campus,” said Blanca Gamez, UT Parking and Transportation Services.
Isaiah Carter, who is involved in UT Student Government, as Chief of Staff, said the demand for SURE Walk is growing, leading to more services.
"We'll get about a 100 students that want to get walked home on a weekly basis, and when I was a freshmen, I volunteered for an entire semester and I never got one walk,” he said.
Carter is now a junior. He told KVUE News that Haruka Weiser's tragic death brought campus safety to the forefront.
"I had lunch with Haruka Weiser's parents on Friday,” he said, "Just talked with them about a number of things, about their daughter's experience, about the things we are working on, about the importance of education, and the importance of awareness.”
Many students, who talked to KVUE, spoke positively of their experiences with Sure Walk.
"The person, who came to walk with me, was very friendly, and they made sure I went into my room safely as well, so I felt really protected and safe,” said Ashley Choi, UT Student.
The students like the option of being picked up by a golf cart or car, instead of being walked home. However, some said they wish the program was more flexible.
“A&M has a core thing, where I think it's anytime, you can call them, and they walk with you,” said Juan Figueroa, UT Student, "If it’s expanded, just like a couple more hours, the area is expanded, I think it might help a bit more."
SURE Walk was able to purchase the golf carts, thanks to a generous donation from UT Alum and CNN commentator Paul Begala. He donated $20,000.
The additional vehicle came from UT's Parking and Transportation Services inventory.
SURE Walk is available Monday through Sunday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Students can call 512-232-WALK to request a ride.