Rowan partners with #WHATSMYNAME to supply ride-share tips

The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation sign posted in high-traffic areas around campus. Chamberlain Student Center.

Rowan University’s Chamberlain Student Center & Campus Activities has partnered with the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation to provide helpful tips to ensure all users of ride-sharing services arrive at their destinations safely while spreading awareness about the potential dangers associated with such services.

The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was established in honor of Samantha Josephson following her tragic death. Around 2 a.m. on March 29, 2019, Josephson, a then 21-year-old senior at the University of South Carolina, requested an Uber after being separated from her roommates. She mistakenly entered a vehicle she had mistook as her Uber, leading to her kidnap and murder.

“I think that because ridesharing has become so popular on college campuses as well as in the community, ” Director of the Chamberlain Student Center & Campus Activities Joseph Lizza said ” We thought that these tips are simple, common sense actions that are easy to remember. You don’t have to remember each tip exactly, or even all of them to possibly make a difference. If we can just have students think a bit more, before getting into a vehicle then we are doing what we set out to do with this partnership.”

The Student Center and #WHATSMYNAME Foundation advocates four tips to help ensure the safety of every student using ride-sharing services. First, plan ahead before going out. Plan where you are headed and be sure to review the application’s safety features.

When approaching a vehicle you suspect to be your Uber or Lyft, ask the driver, “What’s my name?” They should know it off the top of their head or be able to check their own application to answer. Do not get into the vehicle if the driver doesn’t know your name.

Match the make, model and license plate of the car with the one displayed in the application. Do not enter the vehicle if the car does not match with the description. Finally, share the details of your trip with a friend by using the “share status” function in the application. By doing this, others will stay updated on your travel plans and can help ensure your safety.

Rowan’s partnership with the foundation began when Assistant Vice President for Public Safety Michael Kantner attended a presentation by the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation at a statewide quarterly public safety meeting regarding the dangers surrounding ride-sharing apps. Seymour Josephson was invited to give a presentation for administrators, residential life and representatives from Greek life regarding general safety tips.

“The foundation is dong a lot to educate thouse who utlize ride share services, including general safety tips”. Lizza said. “There’s a lot that could go wrong when you are getting into someone else’s vehicle.”

There are efforts to incorporate this knowledge into the freshman curriculum.

“The hope is that we can make this partnership part of the Rowan 101 course and try to get those faculty member who teach the course to spend a short time incorporating the tips and story of Samantha into their first few days of classes.”

Rowan has already begun to spread this information across the community. More details regarding this initiative are available at the Chamberlain Student Center information desk. The installation of signs around campus in high traffic areas have been installed, featuring these four ride-sharing tips. There are currently signs outside the Student Center and other high traffic locations.

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