“I don’t think (the weekend) time frame has been officially set yet, but it is around the time that individuals would be going to or coming from bars around town or late night travel — to make sure those individuals get home safely,” Summers said.
Free Uber rides became a possibility because of an anonymous donation to the UNC Panhellenic Council, Summers said. The council is now working out details with Uber for insurance, liability and other details in the contract.
“If funds are coming from Panhel, then they are the ones whose names are going to have to be on the contract,” Summers said.
Spencer Goodson, Panhellenic vice president for campus outreach, did not respond to requests for comment.
Summers said students would be able to access this resource using their UNC email address.
Student reactions to possible free Uber rides have been mixed. Junior Emily Sheffield said there are other causes that need attention.
“I don’t think it is something I would personally use and I think I would prefer the funding to be used for something elsewhere,” Sheffield said. “One thing is science labs are really hurting for money and then to spend money to get drunk kids home from parties just seems a little bit odd, but I guess it does have some benefits because if kids are getting home safely—if it is preventing drunk driving—then obviously that is a good thing.”
Justin McDowell, a senior, said it would be an affordable option, but he most likely wouldn’t use it.
“I don’t know how much it would change because we already have resources to benefit students, but it would be an added benefit,” McDowell said.
Other students said this program could be beneficial, in light of the recent drunken driving accident involving former UNC student Chandler Kania.
“I am a student who is off campus, so I think it is definitely a really great safety feature to have — especially what happened recently in the summer with the drunk driving incident,” junior Kajal Grover said. “I think this is a great way to help prevent future situations like that and giving students a way to get home safely.”
Senior Laura Burgess said the recent attempted kidnapping near campus is a reason free Uber rides would help student safety.
“I think it would definitely cut down on potential drunk driving, which is always a positive, and then just overall safety of students just because of everything that has been happening recently on campus and everything that happened this summer,” Burgess said. “I feel like there are more positives than negatives that can come from it.”