As temperatures start to drop, the University is working on a way to keep students warm while they wait for the Vern Express outside Funger Hall.
University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said options include building an exterior bus shelter and keeping Funger Hall open later.
“We’re still in the exploratory stages of this process, but working as swiftly as we can,” Sherrard said.
In past years, students waiting for the shuttle had access to the Fulbright Hall lobby. The construction of the Science and Engineering Hall moved the stop to Funger Hall this fall.
Students have access to Funger Hall Monday through Friday until 10:30 p.m., and Saturdays until 8:30 p.m. The building is closed Sundays.
The University is reviewing the option of extending Funger Hall hours, but because the lobby allows elevator and stair access to all other areas of Funger and Duques academic buildings, late-night security is a concern.
“If the Funger lobby is utilized on a 24-hour basis, the Office of Safety and Security will conduct a security assessment and make recommendations to maintain the safety and security of the waiting area,” Sherrard said.
For the past two weeks, junior James Ferguson, director of Mount Vernon Campus Affairs for the Student Association, has lobbied University administrators for action, advocating for all-day access to Funger Hall.
Several students have complained about waiting outside Funger Hall during cold and rainy weather, and Ferguson said he hopes to open the building before the winter settles in.
“We can’t be waiting until next semester to have this be addressed,” Ferguson said, pointing out that Foggy Bottom has already had one snowfall. “The University should have come up with a warm location for students to be safe in over the winter.”