ASOSU SafeRide introduces Beaver Buddies, new evening guided walking service


Photo illustration depicts Beaver Buddy Kylie Andrews (left; she/her) and Sara Jaffe (she/her) walking towards the library on March 8. The Associated Students of Oregon State University’s (ASOSU) SafeRide program will be extended to the Beaver Buddies program.

Haley Stark, News Reporter

The SafeRide program by the Associated Students of Oregon State University provides students with free rides around the OSU campus and Corvallis at night. Their newest addition, Beaver Buddies, expands this service through guided walks around campus.

Like SafeRide as a whole, Beaver Buddies is based around making students feel more secure while traveling in the dark. The program allows students to request a pair on the ASOSU SafeRide app to walk with them across campus at night, operating from 7 p.m to 8:30 p.m. during spring term. 

While Beaver Buddies was just launched this winter term, a service like it had drawn interest in the past. 

According to ASOSU SafeRide Program Coordinator Jeff Baxter, ASOSU passed a resolution in 2018 to create “OSU With You.” Like Beaver Buddies, OSU With You was intended to be an evening escorted walking service for students. However, the pandemic halted the program before it was ever introduced and caused future delays.

“We were hoping to start the pilot for the program last spring, but I didn’t have enough staff because we were still recovering from COVID-19 levels of staffing,” Baxter said. 

According to ASOSU SafeRide Graduate Teaching Assistant Rebekah Short, the absence of a walking service like OSU With You or Beaver Buddies was evident in past years.

“Unfortunately, there were a few incidents in the OSU and Corvallis area in 2021 and 2022 where individuals were assaulted and a program like Beaver Buddies could have helped prevent that,” Short said.

Beaver Buddies is the beginning of a series of improvements ASOSU hopes to implement in making their SafeRide program more sustainable. The new walking program eliminates the emissions created by driving, one of the biggest issues with SafeRide.

According to Baxter, SafeRide has a long-term goal to transition from gas to electric vehicles. Coordination with the University Motor Pool, installation of charging stations and upgrading the city’s power grid will all be required to make this change possible. 

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