Rama-vans Off-limits to Student Drivers

Photo by Rebecca King

Ramapo formerly offered a fleet of 12 passenger vans that were usable for the college community. Starting this year, Ramapo is no longer allowing students to drive these vans, better known as Rama-Vans.

Generally, these vans were used for college club events as well as sporting events. In the past, students were able to reserve a van for their excursion if they were on the college payroll.

According to Stephen Hudik, assistant vice president of communications and public relations, the Rama-Vans are still available for use, just not for students to drive.

“The College is in the process of revising its motor vehicle policy after a review of the applicable state laws on liability. Students are not permitted to drive college-owned, leased or rented vehicles,” Hudik said.

Students have mixed feelings about this change.  Disney Club President, Kim Halloran, says that this new decision will affect Disney Club.

“We like to take trips as a club to see the new Disney films. For instance, we were planning to take a trip to see Big Hero 6, and right now we might have to somehow carpool between club members instead. It is somewhat frustrating not being able to finalize our schedule as well as we’d like to,” Halloran said.

Alternative options like carpooling can be inconvenient, as not every student has a car on campus. However there are also problems that come along with this option. For example, Halloran says that with about 40 people in the Disney Club, trying to fit all of them in different cars is nearly impossible.

Other students feel that not allowing students to drive the vans is a safer route. 

“I think it’s probably a positive safety feature since they probably have more experienced drivers taking students to where they need to go,” sophomore Amanda Criscuolo said.

Sports teams need not worry though; Ramapo has worked out a way to transport the teams. Hudik explained that the college is working with a bus company to transport students for athletic events.

According to Hudik, the process to reserve the vans is still the same, the only difference being students cannot drive them. Clubs can fill out a form on Orgsync if they need transportation anywhere; however, the process may take longer then in the past. Requests are fulfilled on a first-come first-serve basis, according to the Ramapo website.

All of the details have not been nailed down, but Hudik assures the College community that information on the new policy will be shared once it is adopted.

“I am on the fence about this,” said senior Cece Vacca. “In one respect, it is a good change because it is safer. On the other hand, depending on how the new policy is going to work, it is inconvenient because a faculty member may not be able to drive the day the group needs it.”