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KatKab initiative by Chi Alpha members offers rides to keep students, streets safe

Chi Alpha members provide safe alternative to driving drunk

Staff Reporter

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 00:11

KatKab offers rides to keep students, streets safe

Jay R. Jordan | The Houstonian

DESIGNATED FOR FREE Members of Chi Alpha (XA) wait every Tuesday and Thursday at the Jolly Fox and Shenanigans to serve as designated drivers for students after a night out in order to make streets safer in Huntsville.

Members of Chi Alpha (XA) offer a way to keep students and the streets of Huntsville safe with an initiative called KatKab.

Alumnus Brandon Rains created KatKab and participates in the program every Tuesday and Thursday at Shenanigans and The Jolly Fox.

“It’s called the team lift approach,” Rains said. The idea came from the National Designated Driving Service.

“There are teams of guys and girls and they know who their teammate is. Say a drunken girl needs a ride home. If the girl has a car, the female team member walks with her to her car and the guy goes and grabs the team car and follows them home. If a drunken guy walks out, it's vice versa,” said Rains.

Along with the benefits of safer streets, KatKab is a way for people to serve their peers.

Garrett Sakhel is a sophomore kinesiology major and said that he’s been participating in KatKab for about two months.

“I feel like this is serving people because that's what Jesus did. He didn't go to churches to serve people. He went to the bars of that time,” Sakhel said. “You don't have to be a part of [XA] to do it. We're not signing any paperwork with anybody and anybody can come out."

Melva Gomez, senior political science major, was at Shenanigans on Tuesday night.

“It's all about being a servant to them and showing God's love through our actions and letting them know that we're not judging them,” she said. “Our goal is getting them from point A to point B. We're not pushing religion down their throat. We're making sure that they're getting home safely.”

Rains and other XA members had the idea to create a solution to the drunken driving issue two years ago and finally created the service aimed at tackling the problem at the beginning of this fall semester.

“For the last two years, I was thinking, 'man, we should do some designated driving' because nobody had ever done that here,” said Rains. “We met with [the police] and we ran our ideas by them. We told them what we thought, they told us what they thought and we just went from there.”

 KatKab works closely with the Huntsville Police Department in making sure that both the patrons of the bars and drivers on the road are safe.

Lieutenant Jim Barnes works for HPD and has helped create the partnership between KatKab and the police department.

“Our goal is to ensure the safety of the community and certainly this initiate is aimed at the same deal and hopefully [the number of DUIs] will show a drop eventually,” said Lt. Barnes.

For more information, visit the Chi Alpha’s Facebook page.


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