Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springfield Police donate bicycles to UIS Diversity Center checkout program



The Springfield Police Department donated six unclaimed bicycles to the University of Illinois Springfield’s Diversity Center Go-Green Bike Checkout Program during a ceremony on Thursday, April 22.

The concept of the program is to loan bikes, free of charge, to the University community. A user completes an agreement checkout form, agrees to the terms and conditions of use, and can borrow the bike for five days.

“Many of our students are international students, so they come to UIS and their not able to bring their own bikes,” said Jeannie Capranica, Diversity Center program manager.

Students, who often don’t have cars, use the bikes to travel off campus to shop at the grocery store and other locations. Diane Sahagun is a sophomore Communication major, who often uses a loaner bike to get around. She’s glad to see more bikes being added to the mix, because often there’s a long waiting list.

“I think it will help students a lot and it will make a difference,” said Sahagun.

The Diversity Center currently has seven bikes that it uses for the program, but maintenance has been an issue. The bikes being donated by the Springfield Police Department are safety tested and ready for use.

Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams is a UIS graduate himself. His department decided to donate to the Diversity Center because he knows the bikes will go to good use.

“It just gives us an opportunity to reach into the community and do a very worthwhile service,” said Williams.

Williams says many of the bicycles that were donated are either stolen or have sat unclaimed in the evidence room for a long period of time.

The Diversity Center is currently looking to expand its bike fleet. If you have a bicycle you’d like to donate to the program or to make a donation to the fund contact Jeannie Capranica at 217/206-6333.

Visit the Diversity Center website for more information on the checkout program

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