Picture a night when a friend of yours is having a birthday dinner and celebration. You’re excited to celebrate with your friend, but don’t necessarily plan on participating in the “extracurricular” festivities. At dinner, things get a little carried away and you “accidentally” have a few more cocktails than you originally expected.
Most people have had a night where they had a little more fun than expected. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; a good bout of spontaneity is normal for any college student. But after the fun is all said and done, we have a problem with not many appealing choices: how to get home. And usually there are two choices: attempt to drive home or call someone to pick you up.
In our first option, it is much more clear in our sober minds that we shouldn’t drink and drive, and some choose to do it anyway. This choice is the worst of the two, and it involves much higher risk. Driving while intoxicated runs the risk of destroying property, getting a DUI or the worst possible consequence: harming ourselves and/or others. In our scenario, we decide to be smart — that we’d like to stay living, not kill anyone, destroy anything or get a DUI.
On to option two. Call someone to pick you up. Going through our phone doesn’t yield us too many options. Our wallets don’t like the idea of a taxi, Uber or Lyft. Campus Escort won’t take us home because we’re intoxicated and outside of the maximum travel distance, and our appointed designated driver of the night decided to rally with us as well. So … now what? It’s at this point that many people will revert to option one.
Don’t do it. Now you have another option: Do the Ride Thing.
Do the Ride Thing is a program designed to provide free, safe and responsible rides home to anyone who needs it. As of now, the program is college-based and run by the students, for the students. Volunteers of the program have the opportunity to help others make responsible choices by providing them with a safe trip home after they’ve been drinking. You get picked up by another student and dropped off at home, free of charge (although you should give a tip to the driver as a thank you).
So why haven’t you heard about Do the Ride Thing before? Hard as it may be to believe, there have been difficulties with finding student volunteers. For such a well-organized program with every problem thought out and with possible compensation in the form of gift cards or community service hours — and just the fact that it’s a good thing to do to help out your community — we need more student drivers in order to launch this program. We believe in this community, and we know that the program will flourish as soon as it gets off the ground. If this column speaks to you even a little bit, and if you feel like you can help by volunteering to drive, by being a driver’s buddy, or by helping to promote or run the program, Do the Ride Thing wants to hear from you! Visit dotheridethingnevada.org and fill out the volunteer form, or email email@example.com. Additional information can also be found on the Do the Ride Thing Facebook page. We will be holding a volunteer orientation at the Little Waldorf on April 14, 2016, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free dinner will be served to those who volunteer in advance, so sign up now.
This program gives students the chance to look out for each other and potentially save lives. Don’t miss out on an opportunity like this to make a difference.
Makayla Ragnone studies veterinary science. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.