Rattler express is no more


Usually, students without transportation can board the Rattler Express to shop at off-campus locations such as Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Publix and Governor Square Mall. 

However, this semester, students will miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of the Rattler Express because of an audit filed by the Audit and Compliance Office on April 23.

“I am upset because I feel as though the Rattler Express was one program that reached a majority of students,” said Modjinah Lavache, a sophomore broadcast journalism student and a coordinator of the program. “It was made for students to use and since someone was not responsible with the funds, it was misused and abused.” 

Section 1009.24(10)(b) of the Florida Statutes states, “The student activity and service fees shall be expended for lawful purposes to benefit the student body in general.”  

According to section 903.4 of the Student Body Statues, the Board of Trustees approved the allocation of $450,000 at the Board meeting on Feb. 9, 2009 for the Activities and Service funds to cover the lease costs of two buses for Student Government Association recruitment, student government, and “general student use.” 

In October of 2009, the university established an agreement for the leasing of two 56-seat charter buses. The funds were supposed to be removed from an account each June 30. The Board then approved $489,307 on December 2011, once again, to allocate the lease of the two buses.

“The idea of the charter buses came up in the audit,” said Stanley Hardy, senior political science student and a senior senator in SGA. “After what happened in the audit, the administration feels as though they’re not going to deal with the buses unless it’s university reasons.”

Marvin Green, director of student activities, said he isn’t knowledgeable on why the Rattler Express isn’t being offered to students to utilize it for off campus locations.

The audit, which was addressed to administrative staff in the Office of Student activities, clearly hints that Greene knew exactly what happened to the Rattler Express being restricted to the student body for general use.

The Rattler Express wasn’t the only program, which was stopped this semester, the football packages for students to travel to away games was also reported in the audit. The 42nd Student Senate is looking into the policies and regulates on how the Rattler Express can be used.

Marquise McMiller, a junior political science student and a junior senator in SGA, started the program in fall 2011 to take students to locations in Tallahassee because of limited transportation. 

 “We are working on alleviating these issues because student transportation is very important to student life,” McMiller said.