Last Wednesday, College Council (CC) voted to approve an initiative that will address the issue of students paying out-of-pocket for transportation and vehicle rentals when taking trips with student groups. The initiative will make student transportation more feasible due to the limited number of College vehicles.
According to CC co-president Emanuel Yekutiel ’11, there are a number of options for student groups looking for transportation. “College cars and vans will be the first place to go,” Yekutiel said. “If there are no College cars available, then the student would look for personal vehicles. If there are none available, the student would then go first to Enterprise and then to Zipcar. ”
Under the new initiative, CC will partially reimburse student groups for Zipcar rentals at 80 percent of the hourly rate for fewer than eight hours of transport. CC will also partially refund tolls. Groups who wish to rent a Zipcar for more than eight hours can appeal to CC for the possibility of receiving a full refund for the cost for the first 180 miles for a day’s usage.
Restrictions on the new reimbursement protocol include that CC will reimburse no more than two rental cars per student group and no more than one day of driving.
CC decided that although there will be no change in reimbursement for private and College vehicles in regards to cents per mile, CC will now refund up to $7.50 in toll charges per car per trip.
If a student group has more than 20 students in need of transportation, CC will fund $20 per person per bus for one day. The reimbursement will not exceed two days over the academic year. After these two days, the group will need to pay CC 17 cents per mile for every bus they rented including toll costs.
CC contacted student groups for feedback before formulating the new policy. “Each CC member is a liaison to a student group. They contacted their student group to ask about ideas or concerns,” CC co-president Ifiok Inyang ’11 said. “Also, Francesca [Barrett ’12, CC secretary] sent out questions to all groups asking for feedback and any anecdotes that would help.”
CC is also ensuring that student groups are aware of the policy change, via information on the new CC website and Williams Students Online (WSO). The treasurers of all student groups were notified of the new procedure. Beginning in the fall, student groups will factor transportation costs into their budgets.