Lasell van drivers: get in Lasers

By Casey DiBari & Skylar DiamondOpinions Editor & 1851 staff 

Mattias Voltmer (left) and Janci Soto, both certified van drivers, pose next to the familiar Lasell van. Photo by Skylar Diamond

Lasell van drivers provide students  with the ability to travel around the community without the necessity of having their cars on campus. Ranging from Resident Assistant outings to helping the Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL), van drivers can take students and faculty to wherever they desire.

Students who are van-certified are able to drive to functions off campus if it fits within their schedule, making the job personalized to their availability. There are 45 certified van drivers on Lasell’s campus and the number is continuing to climb. This is a paid position that requires students to submit forms such as their driving record to the school alongside completing a road test before officially being certified.

“I scheduled a road test which was really, ‘Did you crash the van? Did you not crash the van;’ it was pretty tough to fail it. It was basically to see if you could handle driving a bigger vehicle,” said Lane Sulzer, a senior who has been van certified for two years.

According to Byrd Hughes from the CCBL, there are a few qualifications needed before becoming eligible to apply as a student van driver. “The qualifications as of right now [are] that the student has to be 19 and they have to have a clean driving record, meaning no infractions on their record,” Hughes said. She added that once a student gets their records, they submit them to the campus safety office, who reviews it and approves the student to take the test.

While being able to aid the student body, the drivers themselves find the job rewarding. Besides the element of a paycheck, the ability to become familiar with the local area has also proven useful. The drivers, who could potentially not be from Massachusetts, are able to explore.

This is also true for drivers who get to participate in Alternative Spring Break, since they are qualified to drive the rental vehicles that are used for those trips.

Junior Mattias Voltmer, who has been van driving since mid-September said, “For somebody who enjoys driving, I think it’s a great way to get to see the area. It’s a stress relief from school, you don’t have to focus on school work, you’re enjoying the time driving and you usually have someone next to you to have a good conversation.”

Hughes adds that she also believes this job opportunity is great for students, saying, “I definitely think that the student van driving position is a great opportunity for students to engage [on campus]. A lot of students think, oh, driving, I’m not doing much, but it’s a great way to get involved and be an integral part of something that’s happening on campus…it’s so important and it gives you a window into what’s happening on campus that I feel other people do not have.” 

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