By Adesholla Bishop
Through rain and shine, during night and day, AUC students can be seen trudging between the dorms and the Academic Building (AB), a 500-metre trek that, though physically taxing and emotionally exhausting, they must make in order to attend on-campus lectures. Yet, it seems the end is in sight: In its most recent student newsletter, AUC announced that it will be launching a new shuttle service called “AUCarpool” in January 2023.
“Excellence is one of AUC’s core values, and we understand that the gruelling expedition to the AB is detrimental to our students’ academic achievements,” says Tiago Silva, AUC’s new – and first – Director of Transportation (DoT). “That’s why we designed AUCarpool: a comfortable and efficient way for students to commute between their homes and the university.” Silva is optimistic that AUCarpool will increase productive time and, in turn, academic excellence.
Telma Lindström, a first-year Humanities major, is eagerly awaiting the launch of AUCarpool. “Walking to and from the AB has been a dreaded part of my day throughout this semester. I know AUCarpool will be an immediate success, and it will revolutionise the university experience here on Carolina MacGillavrylaan.”
Third-year Science major François Monin is similarly excited about the new service and only wishes it had come sooner. “I probably spend an average of 20 minutes each day walking to and from my classes, and that amounts to one hour and forty minutes every week,” he says. “I’ve done the calculations and I know that if I could have used that time to study rather than walk to class every week for the past two and a half years, my GPA would be a 3.86 rather than a meagre 3.54.” Though he will only have one semester to enjoy AUCarpool, Monin is glad that the grades of future AUC students will benefit from this service.
The announcement of AUCarpool’s launch has generally been received positively, but it did spark a Facebook conversation about the consequences on the physical health of students. DoT Silva responded that “AUC’s goal isn’t to produce athletes, it’s to cultivate the next generation of academics.”
To further encourage academic excellence, AUCarpool will be provided at no charge for students with GPAs at or above 3.50. For students who do not meet this threshold, the service will cost one euro round-trip.
AUCarpool will run every two minutes, with the route beginning at the furthest building and making intermediate stops at the middle and closest buildings before reaching its final destination of the AB. The 8:45, 12:30, 18:15 and 22:00 services will make an additional stop at Spar. There will be no shuttle service between 18:15 and 22:00, which Silva says is “meant to encourage students to remain in the AB and study after classes.”