Mobility upgrades assistance

Golf cart gives easier access around campus to Student Life

By Dan Hardin, Staff Writer

Student Life Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks purchased a second-hand golf cart to help transport Student Life staff members and complete endeavors around campus.

Nickelson-Shanks said, “I came out of my pocket with $650 to obtain a cart.” The price of a new golf cart can range anywhere from $3,000 to over $15,000 per cart, depending on if it is new or used.

Nickelson-Shanks has been influential in obtaining the vehicle by spending his own money. The cart will also aid Student Life staffers and students in setting up for events on campus.

“I need it for transporting items around campus, especially for the Food Pantry,” he said.

Nickelson-Shanks said, “You have to go through Police Services to get a campus golf cart approved.”

After the purchase and approval of the golf cart, the next major hurdle will be to get it road ready. Getting the cart ready is where professor Bobby Sturgeon and the automotive technology department comes into play.

He said the cart runs, but is not in great condition.

“It was moving, but barely,” Nickelson-Shanks said. “It will require maintenance and repairs to make it campus-ready. I have the automotive shop to thank for that.”

Nickelson-Shanks said he spoke with the auto department and they said they would get back to him as to what was wrong with the golf cart.

“As for putting a campus logo on the cart, that has not been decided yet. Right now there are no guarantees as to which way we will go (with the logo),” he said.

Sturgeon said, “Nickelson-Shanks knew when he purchased the cart that some major and minor repairs would be needed. That why he got it at such a good deal.”

“It limped over here and we took a look at it. We were able to spot some of the problems right away, while some will take time,” Sturgeon said.

“Some of the obvious concerns have to do with the batteries. They can be costly. Also the wiring is in poor condition. Overall it is nothing we cannot handle.”

After leaving the automotive repair shop, the cart will be sent to body and paint.

Professor Laura Salas will attempt to turn the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan by using her knowledge and students to clean up the cart.

Salas said, “We did a golf cart for the athletic department. I think that it may have been in worse condition, but we did it.

“I spoke to my class about the challenge and they are all on board, fired up and ready to go,” she said.

Golf carts on campus are a familiar sight on campus as Disabled Students Programs & Services and Police Services have been using them for some time.