Weekend Transpo route ‘popular’

first_imgAfter a recent review of the Transpo weekend bus system, student government officials said the initiative has been a “popular” and much-appreciated service for students since it began operations Dec. 4, 2009.Student body president Grant Schmidt said he is pleased with the ongoing value Transpo has provided to members of the Notre Dame community by enabling Notre Dame students to travel to popular off-campus establishments for free.“Overall I think that this has been a great collaboration with Transpo and essentially, the city of South Bend,” Schmidt said. “It’ been a convenient way for students to go off campus and a safe means of them getting home.”On the first Friday Transpo was available, 496 Notre Dame students used the service. Since the second weekend of operation, the number of riders has consistently totaled roughly 150 students on Fridays and Saturdays, with the only major decreases occurring on the weekends of midterms and finals.The high rider numbers have led to a certain amount of foot traffic at pick-up locations near the local restaurants and bars Transpo serves, Schmidt said.“All of the establishments on the Transpo route seem to have a heavy amount of traffic, especially during late-night hours when demand is high for a cab,” he said.Schmidt said the Transpo system came from a student government concern about safety of students traveling to off-campus venues. After the Jan. 17 assault of three Notre Dame students who were waiting for the Transpo bus, Schmidt said student government has taken additional measures to ensure the continued safety of students using Transpo.“The day after that happened, I talked to Transpo about how to address future incidents,” he said. “Student government also printed maps on cards with the Transpo route and times on it. It was one initial way to inform students of where they should be and at what time.”Schmidt said the incident was “extremely unfortunate” but pointed out it was the only violent altercation that has occurred in relation to Transpo.Ryan Brellenthin, Schmidt’s chief of staff, said the exchange was regrettable but overall, Transpo has been a “phenomenal” service over the past few months.“From the beginning, Transpo has been all about safety of students when they are off campus,” Brellenthin said. “The incident was isolated and I think people would be hard-pressed to say that Transpo caused the incident.”As a result, student government has taken steps to ensure University students are never waiting around for the bus and thereby exposing themselves to potentially dangerlast_img read more

UN Calls to Include Countering Illicit Drug Trade on Development Agenda

first_img Fedotov noted that as developing countries emulate the lifestyles of industrialized nations, drug consumption will probably increase, placing a heavier burden on countries ill equipped to deal with burgeoning drug demand. International support should therefore aim at strengthening the capacity of vulnerable nations to confront that challenge, he said. Fedotov said that with the 2015 deadline approaching to take stock of global progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is an increasing recognition that organized crime and illicit drugs impede the attainment of those goals. “Heroin, cocaine and other drugs continue to kill around 200,000 people a year, shattering families and bringing misery to thousands of other people, insecurity and the spread of HIV,” the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, told the General Assembly today, during a special thematic debate on drugs and crime as a threat to development. “At present, only around one quarter of all farmers involved in illicit drug crop cultivation worldwide have access to development assistance – if we are to offer new opportunities and genuine alternatives, this needs to change,” Fedotov said. The Assembly’s debate coincides with the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, observed on 26 June, and was also the forum for Fedotov’s launch of UNODC’s flagship study, the 2012 World Drug Report. In addition, lower overall levels of cultivation and production of opium and coca have been offset by rising levels of synthetic drug production. Highlighting the impact of drug abuse around the world, the head of the United Nations anti-drugs office today said that countering transnational organized crime and illicit drugs must become an integral part of the development agenda. The 2012 World Drug Report finds that although global patterns of illicit drug use, production and health consequences largely remained stable in 2012, opium production had rebounded to previous high levels in Afghanistan, the world’s biggest opium producer. Around 230 million people, or five per cent of the world’s adult population, aged 15 to 64, are estimated to have used an illicit drug at least once in 2010, according to the Report. Problem drug users, mainly heroin- and cocaine-dependent persons, number about 27 million, roughly 0.6 per cent of the world adult population, or 1 in every 200 people. The UNODC chief said that drug-producing and drug-consuming countries alike have a stake in fighting the illicit drug trade, adding that Governments should not forget that illicit drugs also affect health and security globally. By Dialogo June 28, 2012last_img read more