Council Suggests New Attitude May Improve Escort Service

Driver discourtesy and impatience head a list of student concerns the Undergraduate Council will submit to the escort service of the University Police today.

The council's student services committee is responding to reports that the student drivers are "uncharitable" and that the telephone operators discourage undergraduates from using the evening ride service, according to chairman Richard A. Bennett '85.

"There were committee members and friends who had found the escort service dispatchers discourteous to the point of being discouraging, and had not taken it as a result," Bennett said yesterday.

Other concerns center on the drivers' unwillingness to wait when passengers are not easily seen from the street. "I've been left twice," said Current resident Wayne A. Seaton '86. "They drove right by, gave a toot, and didn't even slop down."

But Captain George L. Walsh, who directs the system, said yesterday. "I think the drivers take a lot of abuse. No system is perfect and it's better than having to walk."

Walsh added that other colleges, including MIT and Vanderbilt, are interested in the operation of Harvard's escort service, and "so there must be an advantage to a service like ours," he said

Committee member Rebecca A. Rozen '86 agreed with Walsch. "It's not worthwhile making an issue out of the uncharitableness of the escort service drivers. There may be a few cases, but I didn't find any of that." Rozen said, adding. "The two times I rode it. I thought it was very efficient."

"The escort service is pretty good," said Lois C Johnson '86 of North House, who rides it about five times a month. "They come quickly and the drivers are definitely pleasant."

Gregory S. Markow '85 explained "It's convenient especially when you're drunk and can't walk home."

In addition to improving service, the committee also hopes to increase student awareness of the escort service by an announcement in the Yard Bulleton for freshmen

The five-year-old service carries students between any Harvard affiliated buildings, seven days a week from 7 p m to 3 a m It mostly serves students traveling the River to Quad note, graduate students and Peabody Terrace residents.

Bennett said that while there are no statistical bases of any formal complaints about the escort service, the suggestions will indicate possible problem areas for the service and open up communication between the council and Walsh

"It could just be isolated incidences blown out of proportion," said Bennett "But it there's any truth to it, and it students are ever discouraged when they need to use it, it could be dangerous. We want to avoid that happening"