SURE Walk’s fundraiser for two new golf carts has been extended to the end of December, said Holden Hopkins, one of the SURE Walk directors.
“We just want to give people a longer opportunity to donate,” said Hopkins, Plan II and business sophomore. “This extension allows us more time to reach our original goal and maybe raise a little extra money for other resources.”
Each cart costs $9,000, and the fundraiser, hosted on the student crowdfunding website HornRaiser, will allow SURE Walk to increase their capacity by over 33 percent and serve around 5,000 new students in addition to the 15,000 students they currently serve, Hopkins said.
“After we made the decision to extend the fundraiser, there was a huge spike in donations,” Hopkins said. “We may be able to reach our goal and have some left over to think about getting another accessible van.”
According to the fundraiser page, SURE Walk has raised about 80 percent, or around $14,000, of their $18,000 goal. Hopkins said in order to get another accessible van, the fundraiser would have to bring in another $50,000.
“It’s a lofty goal, but it would be nice to hit 10,000 or maybe 20,000,” Hopkins said. “If we don’t make that much, it’s okay. We can always look at holding another fundraiser later on.”
Through these two new golf carts, SURE Walk plans on reducing wait times and increasing efficiency, Hopkins said. Hopkins said the group has enough drivers but just needs the carts.
“We don’t want students to have to worry about wait times going up because we don’t have enough golf carts,” Hopkins said. “It also helps to have more golf carts in case one breaks down. This fundraiser is all about improving the service for the benefit of students.”
Hopkins said he believes SURE Walk is increasing in demand because knowledge about it has grown.
“It’s just standard inertia,” Hopkins said. “Also, when we initially launched the golf cart part of the service, our users were mostly freshmen and sophomores because juniors and seniors already had set routines, but now it is built into everyone’s routines.”
Aditya Kharosekar, electrical engineering senior, said she believes SURE Walk is increasing in demand because recent incidents on and around campus have made students feel unsafe.
“People didn’t really care about walking services before, but now SURE Walk has become students’ safety net,” Kharosekar said.
Since the demand for SURE Walk is growing, Hopkins said, the SURE Walk directors are working on exploring the data behind the increase
“It’s not enough just to have the resources, but to allocate the resources we have efficiently,” Hopkins said. “Our analytics are going to show us when, where and who are using this service and what we should expect for the future. We are especially taking a look at how SURE Ride is affecting our numbers.”
Jonathan Paulino, aerospace engineering junior, said SURE Walk’s main impact has been making students feel safe anywhere on campus and he has witnessed this
“I live in Roberts, which is really close to SURE Walk’s headquarters in Jester, which gives me a lot of opportunities to see the service at work,” Paulino said. “SURE Walk people are always out there giving rides.”