Froggie Five-O staffers question proposed schedule

A Student Government Association proposal to stretch student security escort Froggie Five-O weekend hours has been met with some reservation from staff members of the program.

Erin House, a Froggie Five-O dispatcher, said the service’s student-run staff has classes to keep up with, and when student workers leave, the same services are provided by security guards. She said she wished the author of the SGA resolution would have sought the opinions of Froggie staff before proceeding with the legislation.

The SGA House of Representatives last week approved a resolution that recommends that a university security ad hoc committee consider stretching Froggie Five-O hours on Friday and Saturday. Froggie Five-O currently runs from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day. The Safety and Security Committee, which includes campus police and university officials, is an ad hoc group that was formed in the fall to review and examine campus safety needs.

House, a junior religion major, and Dustin Naegle, head supervisor for the service, attended the meeting to answer questions about the service at the suggestion of an SGA member who is a driver for Froggie Five-O.

“We’re all students, we all have full loads, and the weekends are when we catch up on everything,” House said.

Offering the service later seems unnecessary because the library, a popular pick-up point, closes early Friday and Saturday, House said. Extending the weekend hours, she said, would condone students coming back later from parties.

The legislation’s author, freshman AddRan College representative Saman Sadeghi, said his goal is simply to make campus safer and to represent student wants.

“The main reason I wrote the resolution is because of students’ desires for longer hours,” Sadeghi said. “As a representative, I’m amplifying the voices of students.”

The resolution was first presented to the House on Feb. 2, but voting was postponed for discussion of the proposal by the Campus Advancement Committee on Feb. 6.

Chase Bruton, student body treasurer and Froggie Five-O driver, said he told his fellow staff members about the resolution and encouraged them to come voice their opinions the following week.

“When it’s 20-degree weather outside…you would be hard pressed to find (a driver) that wants to work later,” Bruton said.

Sadeghi said appeasing drivers should not be a problem because only staff members who wanted to work later would do so. He said the information desk, which is run by students, stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends, as does the popular late-night destination 1873 Cafe & Sports Grill.
The extra hours would only be added on Fridays and Saturdays, so the extension would not conflict with early morning classes the next day, Sadeghi said. While labor laws dictate overtime pay, the university could simply pay a higher hourly wage for later hours, similar to the system in place for the student workers at the information desk, Sadeghi said.

Pam Christian, the university’s crime prevention officer and Froggie Five-O director, said that while student workers would be paid for the additional hours, they would not receive overtime pay unless they worked more than 40 hours per week. She said an increase in pay for working later hours had not been decided on.

Bruton said extending the program’s hours would also duplicate the services of the university’s security guards.

Security guards drive golf carts just like Froggie Five-O drivers and are available to escort students 24 hours a day, Naegle said at last week’s House meeting. The guards are not the same as TCU Police, and they do not write alcohol violations, he told representatives.

Sadeghi said that in his experience, students preferred to use Froggie, and often chose not to call the services after Froggie’s hours end.

Christian said the goal of both Froggie Five-O drivers and the security guards is to keep students safe. The security guards take over as soon as the student workers leave and can be reached by calling the same telephone number.

Christian attended a previous House meeting in which Froggie Five-0 was discussed. She said she voiced her opinion that the Froggie drivers should not work later hours because they are students.

“I would hope that the students would feel just as comfortable about calling a security guard as they would a Froggie Five-0,” Christian said.

Glory Robinson, associate dean of campus life and the head of the Safety and Security Committee, referred questions to campus police, who supervise the program.