Last year, just after spring break, I wrote an article about a personal experience: my bike was confiscated from a bicycle rack outside the Student Union because it had been considered “abandoned.”
Fast forward to Dec. 12, 2015, 1:27 a.m.; I receive an email from the Assistant Director of Residential Risk Management, Daniel Soszynski. His email was a “friendly reminder” to students to make sure that we take our bicycles home with us when we leave for winter intersession.
He also added a caveat in his email that abandoned bikes would be tagged for removal.
But the joke was on him. I already took my bike home when I drove back to Maryland for Thanksgiving. But that’s not why I’m writing about this again. The purpose of this is about a second email I received on Dec. 15, again from Soszynski.
He said he received several responses to his first email and wanted to answer some questions that were raised. Overall, he told us that we are “strongly encouraged” to take our bikes home with us if we are able to do so.
But near the end of his email was a short snippet of information about a free bicycle registration program headed up by Campus Residences’ Residential Risk Management. The program is pretty much exactly what I recommended in my piece from last year, but I give complete credit to Campus Residences for creating this solution.
So what’s the solution? An online registration form using Stony Brook’s Qualtrics service and a sticker. That’s it; bicyclists are asked to complete the online form, and go to the Campus Residences Office to receive a sticker that corresponds to the registration information they provided for the database.
Full disclosure: I haven’t completed this yet. I plan on doing so when I bring my bike back after spring break.
I’m proud of Campus Residences for coming up with a solution, but I think there’s still work to be done.
For example, I received the email about it at the very end of finals week. Why wasn’t it sent out earlier in the semester, giving students the opportunity to register their bike before they went home for winter break? I know there were students who were done with finals and had gone home during the first week of finals.
Here’s a couple things I noticed, and potential solutions:
Why haven’t I heard about this? Market it! The solution is there, you created it. Now make sure everyone knows about it, that it’s mentioned somewhere in the numerous booklets of information all students receive when they step foot on this campus.
But don’t forget to let graduate students, faculty and staff know about it too. I think a great way to do this is through a mass email. But not everyone checks their emails, so make sure you market it in other ways too.
If you go to the Office of Sustainability’s website, there is a plethora of information about biking at Stony Brook. But there’s no mention of this registration program anywhere. Fix that. Contact someone at the Office of Sustainability’s web team and get this information on there. People can learn information about Paul Simons Memorial Bike Path, the Bike Storage Lockers, but there is no mention about this registration program.
Congratulations Stony Brook, in particular Campus Residences.
You created a solution to a problem. I just hope the Office of Sustainability doesn’t resort to breaking u-locks, collecting and storing bikes again.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: ERIC SCHMID