After receiving several complaints from SUNY New Paltz bikers about the lack of bike pumps on campus, Student Association (SA) Sen. Jesse Ginsburg proposed to alleviate the problem.
He approached John Shupe, assistant vice president for facilities management and found that a few bicycle pumps actually existed on campus.
The automotive shop located in the Service Building and the heating plant both provide air for bicycle tires. Shupe said these services have been available for as long as the 15 years he has been at New Paltz.
Though the service exists, advertising it has been a problem. Shupe suggested to Ginsburg to think of ways to spread awareness before students or the school take on unnecessary costs.
“We have folks at the heating plant and folks at the auto shop that could fill tires if needed and I suggest that we try that first, that we somehow market that,” Shupe said. “We’re not good at marketing those kinds of things, to let other people on campus know that it’s available and then if for some reason that doesn’t work then we move on from there.”
Ginsburg said now that he knows the pumps exist, he will not pursue his original plan to add more pumps on campus. He also said he is trying to figure out an efficient way to inform students that they can get their tires pumped for free.
“I haven’t really done anything in terms of promoting any service so I don’t know how I’d go about that,” he said. “I’ll probably bring it up to SA, see what they think, I’m not sure yet.”
Ginsburg spoke to Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson during a recent SA meeting, and said Patterson suggested that he add a reminder to the weekly emails he sends to commuter students.
“That wouldn’t target most of the people who have bikes on campus so I don’t really know how effective that would be or how helpful,” Ginsburg said.
Second-year visual arts major Carissa Moore was one of the students who approached Ginsburg about the bike pumps. After she got a flat tire, she said she realized the only place to get it filled was at a local gas station in town. Moore is a Lefevre Hall resident and wanted to know if there was a closer pump on campus.
“I thought I couldn’t be the only student facing this problem on campus, so I asked Jesse, knowing that he’s a senator, if senate could buy bike pumps,” Moore said. “I’m pretty sure other students had no idea there was an automotive shop or even where it is located. I have still yet to find it.”
Moore said she believes the pumps should be located in more visible places on campus like the Student Union or near the gym.
Shupe said he is not against Ginsburg’s proposal but thinks all other options should be exhausted first.
“When Jesse proposed this, I didn’t say no, no way I’m just saying…who’s going to pay for it,” Shupe said. “Is it going to be funded by the campus or the Student Association? Before we buy a piece of equipment that needs to be maintained, we have an option, and again we haven’t marketed it enough.”