Did you know that Sinte Gleska University has the ONLY free transportation service for their students in the country?
That’s right. SGU vans cover 1,380 miles a day to provide free, safe transportation for students in outlying areas. The transportation service has been in effect since the earliest days, when SGU was Sinte Gleska College. It was recognized that great distances and lack of transport would prevent otherwise interested students from enrolling. Students come from Corn Creek, He Dog, Springcreek, and Winner to name a few communities, with many places in between.
This service runs every day the college is in session. Each run is made to get students to classes at 9 am, then a 4 pm run, and a 10 o’clock run, when classes are over. This makes access to a car unnecessary, and can save students with cars hundreds of dollars over the course of a year, thousands by time of graduation. Students are picked up at their home unless the private road is over a mile long, or blizzard or mud prevent passage. In those cases, students are picked up on the main road. The drivers penetrate the most remote areas of the reservation to help students get an education.
One of the drivers, Dave Delgarito has been on staff 38 years, almost as long as SGU has existed. Another driver, Keith Larvie has driven for 13 years. Other drivers are newer to the staff: Kerry Davis, Ron Keller, and Neil Traversie, all under the direction of Dera Iyotte. These drivers keep impossibly long hours, from 6:30 am to midnight most days.
When students register for classes they also meet with transportation staff to register their class times and community. Drivers get to know their passengers, and also their schedule, and even keep students coming with encouragement.
We are proud of our drivers, who tackle the roads and mechanical glitches on a daily basis, whatever the conditions. And also we salute SGU, who saw the need and continues to provide support of all kinds for students.