The employment of a female Froggie-Five-O student escort driver has drawn mixed reactions across campus, with some in favor while others doubt her capabilities.Pamela Christian, TCU’s crime prevention officer said Sara Kinney, a freshman advertising/public relations major, was selected among some 30 applicants to escort women across campus based on her communication skills and her conscientiousness.
“I hired Sara because she is a student in the College of Communication and should be able to interact nicely with those who ride with her,” Christian said. “Also, she was the first to apply.”
Diana Maddox, a senior advertising/public relations major, said she appreciates Froggie-Five-O, but said she feels that hiring a woman to escort women defeats the program’s mission.
“I rely on male students to protect me as they escort me across campus,” Maddox said. “Honestly, I don’t think there is anything a female student could do to protect me that I couldn’t do myself. I might as well walk with a buddy.”
Katie Teichelman, a freshman early childhood education major and frequent Froggie-Five-O user, disagrees with Maddox.
“I feel just as protected being escorted to my dorm by a female,” Teichelman said. “This is her job and it shouldn’t make a difference whether she is male or female.”
TCU Police Chief Steve McGee said “most stranger sexual assaults are man against woman,” but also said students should not worry about being escorted by a woman because TCU is a safe campus.
“We haven’t had an incident in 10 years and all of our Froggie-Five-O drivers go through training,” McGee said. “There are a lot of women that can handle themselves.”
Talor Ross, a Froggie-Five-O student escort driver, said he is “all for a female driver.”
“Besides the fact that some women may feel uncomfortable with a woman escorting them across campus, it is a pretty easy job that most anyone can handle,” Ross said. “This is my third year as a driver and I am lucky to say that we haven’t had any major problems on campus.”
Christian said she understands students’ concerns with a female Froggie-Five-O student escort driver, but said not only is every golf cart equipped with immediate access to TCU Police dispatch, but there are several cameras across campus being monitored by security.
Maddox said it is going to take more than a radio and a golf cart to make her feel safe when escorted by a female.
“If a woman is going to drive me, I would rather be in a vehicle that goes faster than five mph,” Maddox said. “A golf cart makes anyone vulnerable.”
Security guards at the University of North Texas escort both men and women in trucks and jeeps, said John, a UNT dispatcher who refused to provide his last name.
McGee said he believes golf carts are more sufficient.
“TCU student escorts can drive golf carts through the middle of campus and pick students up at the door of their residence,” McGee said. “If we used a shuttle service, students could be waiting in the dark at a shuttle stop for up to 15 minutes.”
McGee said he wants to emphasize that Froggie-Five-O is to be used only for “student safety,” but this does not include male students.
“If there was a male student that had a legitimate safety issue, we would escort him,” McGee said.
When asked if he would allow men to utilize Froggie-Five-O services if there were more resources, McGee said, “We do over 20,000 (escorts) a year. We would have to triple the amount of golf carts and triple the amount of student volunteers to accommodate men.