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CCU Atheneum: Chelsea Thomas and Dori Sanders, Swain Scholars, have launched a bike safety awareness program.
Chelsea Thomas and Dori Sanders, Swain Scholars, have launched a bike safety awareness program.

Swain Scholars launch Bicycle Awareness program

by Chelsey Kohler
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Chelsea Thomas and Dori Sanders, Swain Scholars at Coastal Carolina University, have launched a Bicycle Awareness program for their Swain Scholars community outreach project this spring semester.

When Sharon Thompson, coordinator and professor of Swain Scholars, presented the idea to focus on bicycle safety, the two Horry County natives jumped at the opportunity to educate and help the community where they grew up. They are both juniors at CCU.

Students in the Swain Scholars program work with Coastal Carolina University faculty and community agencies to research health-related issues and implement community health programs. Thomas is a biology major who went to Carolina Forest High School, and Sanders is an exercise sports science major who went to Conway Christian School.

In 2013, there were multiple deaths from bicycle accidents in the Myrtle Beach area. The students have reached out to the community and have received great feedback and support on ways to make the Myrtle Beach and CCU area more bicycle friendly. Sanders and Thomas are listening to locals but also are concerned with international students who may not be educated on bicycle regulations and safety in the United States, which put them at greater risk.

Thomas and Sanders are working on a DVD for international students that explains bicycle safety, flyers in multiple languages that can be used for international student orientation, and an informational web page for the public to visit on the Horry County website.

“Bicycles are starting to become a more popular form of transportation for locals, international students and CCU students since parking is becoming more inconvenient around campus,” says Sanders. “We thought this would be a good time to implement better bicycle accommodations and push information on how to be safer on a bicycle around the area.”

The students have also organized a Bicycle Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 16, on Prince Lawn to inform people about new and existing bicycle safety rules and regulations. Anyone who stops by the bicycle safety tent on any sort of wheels, such as a skateboard, longboard or bicycle, will receive a prize and can enter a raffle to win a new bicycle. There will also be a make-it-yourself trail mix station, Sonic slushees and KC’s Deli subs to enjoy.

Campus Recreation and Campus Sustainability are also on board for Bicycle Awareness Day and are working with the bicycle safety program. They will also be on Prince Lawn on Wednesday, April 16, promoting their own causes. Campus Sustainability donated two bicycles to the bicycle awareness program to raffle off on April 16 and will be promoting the re-fill stations around campus and also the disadvantages of drinking bottled water that day. Campus Recreation will also have its own tent promoting recreational opportunities around the area.

Prince Lawn is located in front of the Eldred E. Prince Building behind the Singleton Building.

For more information on this event, contact Chelsea Thomas at cnthomas@g.coastal.edu or at 843-450-0073.

 

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