NSU’s Wesley Bike Share program has wheels
Plan is ideal for coeds low on funds, looking for fun
Leah Jackson 08/19/2015
NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Wesley Campus Ministry is partnering with local United Methodist Churches and the Natchitoches Bike organization to create Louisiana’s first free bike share program. The bike share is open to all Northwestern State and BPCC @ NSU students who are 18 and older.
Students are invited to visit Wesley Campus Ministry to borrow a bicycle for up to three days at no cost. The bike share is a viable option for students low on gas money, in need of exercise or looking for something fun to do, such as explore campus and the Natchitoches Historic District on two wheels, according to Clair Loraine Carter, campus minister.
“I hope students will take advantage of this ministry because I think riding a bike is a great way to learn about a city,” Carter said. “You really have to pay attention to what your passing, which is not something drivers always do. I think a lot of students don’t want to pay high gas prices, but lots of students can’t afford cars at all because of the rising cost of higher education. A bike, and especially a free bike, is an economic choice that has the added benefit of a free work out and very little carbon footprint. Not to mention that you get premium parking.”
Carter said the College of Bishops has asked all United Methodists to seriously consider how their actions impact the environment.
“The Wesley Bike Share is one simple way of cutting down our negative additions to consumer culture,” she said.
To get a bicycle, students visit the Wesley Campus Ministry, 520 University Parkway next to Magee’s Patio Café, to fill out a liability waiver, sign a contract stating when they will return the bike and receive a briefing on local cycling laws and safety tips. Helmets are available for each bike the ministry shares.
“Students can keep the bike for three days, and when they return, we check to see if they require maintenance – air in the tires, oil on the chain, tighten the brakes, replace the tires, whatever. Students will never be charged for damage to the bikes. The liability waiver indemnifies the Wesley and UMC from paying for injuries incurred while riding,” Carter explained.
NSU Wesley Campus Ministry is the United Methodist campus ministry at the university. The ministry offers distraction-free studying from 8 a.m.-noon every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday where students can study in a quiet place. They are also welcome to free air conditioning, wifi and coffee, Carter said. Students who visit the ministry to pick up a bike can learn about their other programming. The Ministry offers a weekly Tuesday lunch from noon-1:30 p.m. provided by area churches and organizations. The cost of the Tuesday lunch is $1 for students and $5 for non-students. There will also be weekly worship and Bible study.
“We’ll be breaking ground on a community garden in September. All of the food from the garden will be free for students. We’ll have harvesting and cooking lessons in our own kitchen,” Carter said. “We are also looking for interns in everything from communications to music to education to ecology. It’s sort of a build-your-own dream internship deal. I’m really exciting to see what students imagine that to be. There’s also space here to learn about how the United Methodist Church works as a global connection from mission work to disaster response to working towards racial equality.”
For more information on the NSU Bike Share program and Wesley Campus Ministries, call (318) 352-2888, visit their website a wesleynsula.org or e-mail Carter at email@example.com.