Roughly a year and a half ago, discussions between then president of Chi Delta Tau, Erik Long-Goheen, and David Tuttle, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, began talk about Tiger Taxi, a program to help eliminate drunk driving among Trinity University students. These taxis can take students anywhere in San Antonio and accept a Tiger Taxi Card that students may purchase online.
“There are really a lot of things that we can do now and I think that we should do to stop this drinking and driving,” said Arush Dutt, a member of Chi Delta Tau. “The public transportation isn’t that good here and I think we should promote the use of taxis more.”
The minimum balance you must put on the card is $25. The Tiger Taxis are run through the Yellow Cab Company and are the same price as a regular taxi. As of Wednesday, Aug. 20, Chi Delta Tau has sold 28 cards.
“We have been looking for options in terms of safe driving,” Tuttle said. “If people have money on a card that has to be for a cab, it seems that they’re probably more likely to use that money in a dangerous situation where there is alcohol.”
Tuttle and Chi Delta Tau have been working together to create this program. Although the idea was originally Tuttle’s, he believed a fraternity would be more effective than the administration at networking with students to inform them about the program and sell cards.
“Years ago there were a couple of members of Chi Delta Tau that had been in a car accident, and I thought it just might be a natural fit for them to care about student safety and driving,” Tuttle said. “I just thought it touched their group in a pretty real way.”
In addition to the accident, Chi Delta Tau was suspended in 2012 for hazing. Although originally suspended for three years, they were allowed to come back to campus after one year of suspension.
“We wanted to come back and kind of change the outlook of how we are viewed on campus and change how we approach our activities,” said Alex Hartzel, a junior member of Chi Delta Tau who is involved with the Tiger Taxi program. “We just wanted to see if we could do something as a fraternity that had gotten in trouble to come back strong by helping the community.”
Chi Delta Tau had a table to welcome the first-year class on move-in day. They educated new students and parents about the program and its features while handing out brochures and selling Tiger Taxi cards.
“I’m really encouraged by their program,” said Briana McGlamory, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life. “A lot of people took brochures and they actually had to go print more, which I thought was great.”
Currently Dutt and Hartzel are working to have an information session during Fall Family Weekend, when they can inform parents and new students about the Tiger Taxi program. They hope to have students enroll in the program at that point, and to continue to grow.
“I think this could be a really positive thing, because it’s not just about the number of cab cards they sell; it’s about the culture of student safety and driving,” Tuttle said.
Katie Hayes is the News Briefs Reporter for the Trinitonian. She is a junior anthropology major from St. Louis, Missouri.