Letter to the Editor
by Mike Norton
As members of the Associated Student Government Parking and Transit Committee, we often hear students complain about seeing non-UA-students riding on Razorback Transit buses, especially if the riders exhibit a lack of hygiene or abnormal behavior.
What many students do not realize is that Razorback Transit only receives about 25 percent of its funding from student fees. The remaining 75 percent of funding comes from state and federal tax dollars.
In a sense, the general public has just as much right to use the bus system as we do. As long as individuals are non-hostile and non-threatening, all students should demonstrate a hospitable attitude to all other riders, regardless of what profile they represent. Many who are considered “homeless” are simply utilizing the bus system to get to work, run errands or visit friends and family like the rest of us.
With the United States recovering from the recession, the job market still amok, and oil prices continually rising from the democratic uprisings in the Middle East that have threatened oil supplies, the Razorback Transit bus system is a savior for many of these individuals who either lack a car or lack the funds to use their car on a continual basis.
It is imperative that University of Arkansas students reflect a welcoming mind-set to these individuals. Next time you’re on the bus, ignore that text or email, lay down the newspaper and reach out to these fellow riders. Interact with them. You could quite easily brighten their day, relate to their situation and gain a new appreciation for the blessing that is higher education.
This letter to the editor was written on behalf of the ASG Transit and Parking Committee.