Have Facebook and video chats completely obliterated rendezvous and good old talks with close friends? If not, why is it like pulling teeth trying to visit friends at other colleges?
If you don't have a car at school or you can't afford the gas with the average college student budget, there are few other options for transportation. Livingston Area Transportation Service buses can take you to Walmart, Wegmans or anywhere on campus, but beyond that we're trapped. Taking a commercial bus service isn't a great alternative either, as it's easy to get entangled in the mass of schedules and routes trying to get from point A to point B. Between here and there, you've wound up in points L, W, P, with a layover in X.
Theoretically, you could just wait to see all of your friends over Christmas break. Your parents probably don't want to spend any time with you, anyway, and three months isn't that long to go without seeing your true friends. If it's your boyfriend or girlfriend, on the other hand, long distance relationships are hard enough, and often just Web cams and phone calls won't suffice.
You can get to your friends if you go to school in a fancy metropolitan area and they're also living in high-rises, but if you're in some podunk town like Geneseo and they're residing in an even more out of the way location, you'd better make dinner plans over break.
The solution: an intercollegiate bus system. The system comes with numerous benefits. It would create jobs for the bus drivers and a few office positions to execute the operation. It obviously costs money to buy buses and pay the employees, but with ticket prices these days, the system would pay for itself.
In addition, it would promote environmentally-friendly behavior by encouraging students to use mass transportation. A huge stress could be erased from making travel plans: The directionally challenged could put their minds at ease, and the children of worrywarts could offer their parents assurance when asking for the money they need to buy tickets.
This plan seems an intimidating one to tackle, but not if approached gradually. Start with a survey to see how many students would be interested in this system. Ask how often someone would use it or wished for it in the past. If enough interest is established, start a few weekend trips between exclusively SUNY schools, even just once a month to ease into it. Hopefully demand would grow and the system would expand from there.
Even if you do have a car, with gas prices what they are, a bus might be a better choice for your money. You can sleep on the bus, or even get some studying done (or maybe not). The adage goes, "The friends you make in college will be there for life." Friends you've made from the first 18 years of your life, however, don't just disappear, and especially for first-year students a familiar face is nice to see in person.
Or, if you're a transfer and you've already made some of those "life-longers," it would be nice to see them every once in a while at your old school. Or maybe you love Geneseo so much you want your friends to visit and see how great you have it. The intercollegiate bus system offers the means to that end. When withdrawal kicks in, just jump on the bus and get a big bear hug from an old friend.
Jenni Rosen is a freshman English education major who really just wishes she could take a bus.