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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Knox athletics implements transportation pilot program

Spring athlete’s express concerns about new vans
Womens+Soccer+vs+Grinnell+230926+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Knox+College%29
Steve Davis
Womens Soccer vs Grinnell 230926 (Photo Courtesy of Knox College)

A new implementation of white vans is under use by spring athletic teams, as a practice run for future seasons. The previous charters seated fifty-six passengers with storage space under the bus, and outlets for electronics on every seat. The new vans are smaller and seat fourteen athletes with one driver. This has left some students upset about a lack of space for themselves and their belongings.

“I find it more convenient to sit on the floor with a blanket rather than in a chair. That way everyone else has more room,” first-year and softball player Janet Lentini said.

Lentini also notes that the seats themselves are uncomfortable to sit in.

Softball pitcher sophomore Maddie Hicks says that doing homework in the van can be difficult. In comparison to the charter buses previously provided, there are no outlets to charge laptops or hotspot in order for student athletes to complete their work.  Lentini has also experienced this issue. On the way to their previous away game, the team’s hotspot died and she was unable to do her homework.

Alongside softball, the Knox track team has used the new vans as well.  Track athlete and first-year Emily Jacobs spoke on the lack of storage space in the vans. Similar to the softball team, track athletes have resorted to laying on the floor with other teammates’ backpacks and belongings.

“We did not see any, other than the storage in the back where the coolers went. Everyone kept their things with them,” Jacobs said.

Over the years Knox athletics has used Peoria Charters services to transport teams for events away from the school. In the case of smaller teams, the local Enterprise would allow the athletic department to rent a van. However, as of fall term, Enterprise stopped van rentals, leaving smaller teams to travel on large buses with an accompanying large cost. In an attempt to be more cost efficient the athletic department and new Athletic Director, Corey Goff, launched this transportation pilot program of personal vans. Many other schools in the Midwest Conference own their team vehicles, which was an inspiration to the current transition Knox plans to go through.

In the state of Illinois you must be commercial drivers license (CDL) certified in order to drive a vehicle that seats over 15 passengers. This requirement contributed to the size of vans chosen by the college.

“I have been told by colleagues at Knox that in the past we’ve had trouble getting CDL drivers.” Goff said.

With this difficulty of finding CDL certified drivers, the vans currently being piloted do not require CDL certification, allowing for coaches and other staff members at Knox to drive them.

If the pilot program works in the way it was intended by the athletic department, by next year, Knox will own their own vans and no longer rent their transportation. With the exception of larger teams that will not fit in the vehicle. With the ownership of these vans, there would be a possibility for academic use as well, transporting students for field trips, community service requests, etc.

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About the Contributor
Aleene Ramirez
Aleene Ramirez, Staff Writer
Aleene Ramirez, class of '25, (she/her) joined TKS as a staff writer. She is majoring in journalism with a self-design minor in sports media. She uses she/her pronouns and enjoys playing soccer. Fun fact about Aleene is she has six dogs back home in Texas!

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