University of Houston to Offer Fewer Services during Pandemic

University of Houston to Offer Fewer Services during Pandemic

The University’s after-hours security escort organizations will offer fewer services and programs for the fall semester as a result of decreased demand during the pandemic.

The Cougar Ride program, offered by UH Parking and Transportation, will operate one van on a limited schedule Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Student Government Association’s Cougar Pack program has yet to resume operations or to finalize plans for Fall 2020.

“The University always seeks to deliver a high level service for students who need to move around campus during late night hours,” said Shawn Lindsey, executive director for Media Relations. “Cougar Ride and UH Police Department work as co-producers of safety (on campus).”

The Cougar Ride security escort program has reduced their services based on usage trends. The revised schedule offers security escorts during periods of historically peak usage while cutting operations during times of traditionally low ridership, said Neil Hart, executive director for Parking and Transportation.

“For example, Sunday has traditionally been Cougar Ride’s busiest day, and the service has been least used on Fridays, Saturdays and after 1 a.m. in past semesters,” Hart said. “The schedule has been adjusted accordingly to minimize the impact (to students).”

In previous semesters, the Cougar Ride program operated from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily and from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. during the summer and on holidays.

The Cougar Pack intends to resume operations during the fall semester and has begun taking steps to continue offering security escort services in the fall with coronavirus health and safety protocols in place, said SGA vice president Hiba Rashid.

Rashid is working with the UH Emergency Planning division to create a COVID-19-conscious Cougar Pack reopening plan featuring hygiene related guidelines and has received approval for her original plan. How soon the program can resume operations will be determined by the speed at which the proposal gains University approval.

“When (Cougar Pack) continues operations this fall, we hope to be an additional transportation resource to the community,” Rashid said. “We will provide a very safe option for students to use.”

The initiative, supported by UH Campus Safety and the division of Administration and Finance, intends to relieve strain on UHPD by providing students with rides from the M.D. Anderson library to their residence hall or vehicle.

Prior to the pandemic, Cougar Pack supplemented UHPD and Cougar Ride security escort services Tuesday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Alterations to Fall 2020 hours of operation have yet to be announced. 

For some students who have used on-campus security escort services before, concerns over exposure to the virus in Cougar Ride and Cougar Pack vehicles is minimal.



  • Buffalo Public School District Modernizes Security With New Cameras NVRs

    i-PRO Co., Ltd. (formerly Panasonic Security), a provider of professional security solutions for surveillance and public safety, recently announced that the Buffalo Public School District (BPSD) has modernized its security footprint with i-PRO multi-sensor and 360° fisheye network cameras, and i-PRO NV300 network video recorders (NVR). The BPSD serves 28,000 K-12 students out of 70 facilities in western New York. Read Now

  • Lessons Learned from Past School Shootings

    Two experts are working together and collaborating on new ways school campuses can develop a proactive and comprehensive security plan. For three consecutive years, the U.S has had a record-high number of school shootings resulting in a repetitive cycle of grievances, anger, and frustration. The U.S. had 344 school shootings in 2023 which surpassed the record-breaking number of 308 school shootings in 2022 as reported by K-12 School Shooting Database. Read Now

  • Mother of Michigan School Shooter Found Guilty on Four Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter

    The mother of the teenager who killed four students in an Oxford, Michigan school has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter because of the shooting. That’s according to a report from CNN. Read Now

  • Utah State Legislature Funds Gun Detection Technology and Incident Management System in All Public K-12 Schools

    ZeroEyes, the creators of the only AI-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the US Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation, and AEGIX Global, a Utah-based provider of industry-leading critical incident management services, recently announced that the Utah State Board of Education has approved a contract to provide the joint solution for all Utah public K-12 schools, including charter schools. Read Now