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More Wheels When You Want Them; Eight New Zipcars on Campus

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011

At the beginning of fall quarter, Santa Clara University expanded its partnership with Zipcar, the world’s largest car-sharing service, offering sustainable transportation alternatives to traditional car ownership and rental. The launch of a new transportation option for undergraduate students was made possible through the “CBL Affiliate” membership, bringing 8 new Zipcars, including 6 Ford Focus and 2 Toyota Prius to SCU on September 23, 2011. The new fleet joins the 3 Zipcars already available on campus for general use.

Zipcar already has many fans on campus: “Because I didn’t have a car, Zipcar enabled me to go off-campus relatively easily and the cars were very reliable. Without Zipcar, I wouldn’t have been able to do many simple tasks that were necessary throughout the year and I am really thankful Santa Clara offers Zipcars for student use.” Megan Carlson, ’14.

During the 2011-12 academic year, more Santa Clara students will benefit from SCU’s partnership with Zipcar. Students who qualify for CBL Affiliate memberships will have the traditional $25 application fee waived and their first year membership fee of $35 covered by the University. In addition to these perks, students will also receive 12 free rental hours with their registration and membership.

CBL Affiliate memberships in Zipcar are meant to be used by students for transportation to and from off-campus community-based learning (CBL) engagement sites during the quarter in which a student is enrolled in an academic course that requires community-based learning. Community-based learning courses involve both an in-class component and a community-based learning component. This means that, in addition to students’ in-class time, their learning will be supplemented in the community through one of SCU’s authorized community-based learning partnerships.

The use of Zipcars supports students’ existing methods for transportation to these community partners, including carpooling, taking public transportation, driving own personal vehicles, riding bicycles, or walking to these sites. According to Laurie Laird, Associate Director of the Ignatian Center, who oversees Arrupe Partnerships for Community-based Learning, Zipcar will “accommodate the increased need for transportation support for community-based learning. This new initiative will hopefully accommodate more students and will allow for greater flexibility of scheduling. It will also decrease the burden on Campus Safety officers who for the past several years have generously issued keys to students using the Arrupe and SCCAP fleets.”

Students who have enrolled in a qualifying academic course requiring community-based learning will be informed via their SCU (GroupWise) email accounts of their eligibility to apply to join Zipcar as a “CBL Affiliate” member. Already, students’ responses to the program have been positive, according to Laird, “though I think some students are a bit confused. Hopefully after this quarter, more students will catch on and recognize the benefits of being a Zipcar CBL affiliate member.”

This new transportation option may impact between 400-500 students in the fall quarter alone, depending on the number of students who enroll in qualifying courses. According to Matt Cameron, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life, 400 students have already enrolled with Zipcar “since the inception of SCU’s partnership with Zipcar.”

The expansion of SCU’s partnership with Zipcar provides improved, sustainable transportation solutions; Santa Clara University’s carbon footprint can be reduced as students travel off campus to participate in community-based learning in these newer, more fuel-efficient cars. There are many qualifying courses that will fulfill the Experiential Learning for Social Justice (ELSJ) Undergraduate Core Curriculum requirement, which all students, beginning with the class of 2013, must fulfill. The University’s support of this program is but one of the ways that SCU demonstrates its commitment to sustainability, community-based learning, and stronger community partnerships.

For more information about Zipcar at Santa Clara University, please visit:

By Andrea Brewster, Curriculum Manager, Experiential Learning for Social Justice and Michelle Tang, '12, Sustainability Intern for Student Initiatives

Tags: Community Engagement, Curriculum, Education and Research, Program Highlights, Student Life, Transportation



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