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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Luke Castleman, left, a mechanical engineering student asks political science Professor Mike Wolf, right, to help answer a question regarding DACA from Dean of Students Eric Norman as part of IPFW's “Brilliance Buggy” program Thursday.

Friday, September 08, 2017 1:00 am

Brilliance Buggy ready to quiz IPFW students

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Jump aboard. Got a quiz for you.

IPFW students might be getting those kinds of regular invitations from now on. On Thursday, IPFW launched a program that could lighten the mood on campus as it encourages communication and improves “non-enforcement relationships” between police, students, faculty and staff.

The vehicle to accomplish this is called the Brilliance Buggy.

It's IPFW's version of the game show “Cash Cab” and involves university police officers, administrators, and “unsuspecting members of the campus community,” a news release announcing the first scheduled buggy ride said.

An officer will drive the police department's four-seat golf cart accompanied by a university administrator. The two will drive around campus and offer rides to members of the campus community.

“Once a person is on board, they will become a captive audience member and will be challenged to answer questions for a prize,” the release said. “As the questions increase in difficulty, the rider will be given the opportunity to pull over and ask other people for help.”

While there's a spirit of fun, the questions and topics for buggy riders are serious business. They will include important issues such as alcohol awareness, drug abuse prevention, academic dishonesty, and mental health awareness. 

Eric Norman, chief student affairs officer and dean of students, and Capt. Eric Chin of the Purdue University Police Department took off on the inaugural buggy ride Thursday morning. At least one other administrator also participated later in the day. 

“It went well. It's a fun program,” said Norman, who was on the buggy for more than two hours and engaged with 15 to 20 students. “It's an opportunity to meet students and let them know a little bit more about what we do. I'm very pleased with the start and looking forward to its continuation.”

The longer runs on the buggy cart were riding with students from campus to housing and back, Norman said. It was a challenge to find students going a distance, who weren't within a few feet of the building they needed to go to, and more likely to benefit from a mobile jaunt.

Administrators will take turns on the buggy when it goes out. Norman thinks others are looking forward to it also.

“They're ready to roll,” he said, “literally and figuratively.”