Behind the gleaming blue and white paint and chromed-out handlebars of the six new campus Go Bikes lurks … the ugly red face of COMMUNISM!

Who knew that a beach cruiser could stir up so much political drama?  While the proponents and detractors of the improved Go Bikes program argue about the merits and pitfalls of our two-wheeled Slip ‘N Slide into socialism, I would like to take a minute to acknowledge the effectiveness and adaptability of the student government in maneuvering this issue. Six new bikes on campus may not be the most radical of changes, but the way our elected officials handled this policy is an excellent foray into how politics should occur.  After reviewing the problems with the first Go Bikes, adjustments and improvements were made to streamline and strengthen the program.

When the first set of Go Bikes were unveiled, there were a multitude of issues, some minor, others more troublesome.  Ultimately, the initial program failed for two reasons: (1) Initial bikes were in used/poor condition, and (2) there was insufficient upkeep of the bikes.   It is for these reasons that the first iteration of the program did not succeed.

With no money spent on bicycles, how can a bike-based program sustain itself? With bikes that began as castaways and derelicts of Principia, it should come as no surprise that problems arose.  Thankfully, the student government recognized that these bikes were simply not making the grade in safety and therefore were not fulfilling the intended purpose of the Go Bikes program.

By recognizing the need to update the program and then acting on this information, the new and improved Go Bikes were made available.   The bikes were initially in poor condition, with no two bikes alike and each suffering from a multitude of pernicious faults, including loose handlebars, poorly functioning or non-functional brakes, and broken derailers.  By purchasing new bikes with single gears and hassle-free back-pedal brakes, all of the initial problems of the first set of Go Bikes have been solved.

Our elected representatives made wise and self-reflective insights about the first program and fashioned a new, improved program that far outstrips the previous one.  This type of critical thinking – listening to constructive criticism concerning the first program – has enabled the creation of a program that is significantly better than its predecessor.

When we look to the foundational ideas of democracy and the social contract, there is an expectation of communication and accountability between the government and the governed.  Principia’s student government has risen to the occasion with progress and a promising new program that has left me goo goo for Go Bikes.