Students 18 and up will be able to apply to be drivers and ride-alongs for GUARD Dogs safe rides thanks to new contract negotiations with Avis Car Rental.
This is a change from the 21-and-up age limit first established by the organization.
Rishita Jani, executive director of programs, said that the University of Connecticut only had contracts with Enterprise Rent-a-Car and when GUARD Dogs was revamped at the beginning of last semester, it began looking for an alternative.
“We looked into other companies and Avis was another company that we felt comfortable working with and purchasing felt comfortable working with and their policy was over 18,” Jani said.
She said this lower age will open up more potential for students to volunteer as drivers and back up “ride-along” partners. Cars are always deployed with a two-person, mixed gender team for the safety of the drivers.
Jani said this age change will only be a positive change for GUARD Dogs policy, since the regulation was only based on Enterprise policy.
She said the contract between Enterprise and the student organization purchasing department is still ongoing but is expected to finish on-schedule to launch GUARD Dogs at the end of this semester.
Jani said Avis and UConn were communicating about a partnership earlier this year but that communication was halted because the rental car representative ceased working at the company.
“It may even be the case that the contract they had was fine and was just cut off because of employment issues at Avis,” Jani said. “So now that they have kind of reconnected, they’re not starting from square one.”
Nicholas Shigo is associate news editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.