Cougar Safe Rides not taking calls until September

Working on volunteer training; hoping to get more volunteer applications

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STELA SZABOOVA

Cougar Safe Rides will train volunteers before they become drivers

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Life editor

While most people are expecting to call the Cougar Safe Rides number for a trustworthy ride home after syllabus weekend parties, the volunteer drivers will not be accepting calls until September.

The majority of the volunteers are new and need to do a background check before becoming drivers, which can last a couple of weeks, said program supervisor Joshua Wagner.

A couple of volunteers from past semesters are coming back to volunteer, but because of personal circumstances, they will not be available this weekend either, said program supervisor Jillian Paxton.

Volunteer training will start on Friday, and ideally, driver applications will be submitted starting Friday as well, Wagner said. 

When Cougar Safe Rides gets their volunteer drivers trained, people can call or text WSU-267-SAFE, or (978)-267-7233, he said.

Cougar Safe Rides will be available from 8 p.m. until midnight on Thursdays and 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, he said. 

Wagner said volunteers will pick up and drop off within the city of Pullman because of wait times and gas. But, Cougar Safe Rides will not drop people off at another party.

“We don’t drive for medical emergencies and we will not drive if someone is overly intoxicated, because at that point, we’re worried about alcohol poisoning, which counts as a medical emergency,” he said. “In that case, we would just recommend the person call an ambulance.”

Cougar Safe Rides is always looking for volunteers, Paxton said. A link to the application can be found in the Cougar Safe Rides section on the Women*s Center website

“We love volunteers, we love when people sign up,” she said. “I, for one, enjoy the team that we’ve built and all of our volunteers are super fun, [and it’s a] cool family.” 

Wagner said being a volunteer driver can also help get volunteer hours fast, especially for Greek life members. 

People can receive around 10 hours in a weekend if they pick up every shift, he said. 

“We make it as fun as possible. We provide snacks, you can go get food if it’s dead, we have movies and games,” he said. “If no one’s on the list, and even if nobody picks up the phone, you still get your volunteer hours just for showing up.”