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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: On Veo shenanigans

A+veo+on+top+of+the+overhang+at+Neeley+Hall+on+Feb.+26%2C+2023.
Photo by Kaili Gaston

A veo on top of the overhang at Neeley Hall on Feb. 26, 2023.

Ah, yes, Veo rideshare bikes: the official bird of Texas A&M. Their beautiful turquoise plumage has graced many a tree and building ledge on this great campus.

It’s a common Aggie experience — you’re walking around campus, minding your own business, when you round a corner and see a Veo hanging from an oak limb or sprawled out on a roof.

A couple of weeks ago, several of these little blue birdies were perched atop the Zachry Engineering Building.

This is not altogether surprising; since Veo’s introduction to campus in 2019, students have made it their mission to place the bikes in increasingly difficult and creative locations. Some notable examples include the tip of the Academic Building and the letters on Kyle Field.

No, what’s surprising about this particular incident is the university’s acknowledgement of it.

Following the removal of the bikes, a university-wide email was dispatched from the desk of Texas A&M’s Vice President For Student Affairs, Brigadier General Joe Ramirez, Jr.

 Ramirez took this Zachry stint personally. Or at least, someone high up did, because Ramirez took it upon himself to notify the entire student body that this behavior is absolutely unacceptable.

“This practice poses a significant risk to those directly involved … the risk of a bike falling and injuring others and the risk of damaging university property,” Ramirez email reads.

Thank goodness someone in charge finally spoke out about these Veo hijinks. That was some dangerous stuff!

Can you imagine if someone had gotten hurt? Speaking of getting hurt, it’s a good thing that Veos are so safe for the average user! Everyone who’s ever ridden one knows that they’re in pristine condition, perfectly safe to ride and certainly not placing the rider or passersby in any danger whatsoever.

Yeah, right. Every time I’ve so much as touched a Veo it’s been about as sturdy as an IKEA bookshelf. If you hear a bike coming, you can tell whether it’s a Veo or not based on whether it sounds like it’s about to shake and rattle apart like an episode of Looney Tunes.

In fact, one might argue it would be more likely for a student — or, as Ramirez hinted, visiting taxpayer or investor — to injure themselves on these poorly maintained bikes than to be hit by one falling from a tree like a colorful aluminum coconut.

Well, at least we can count on Veo’s customer service to work with us and be responsive to our needs. Or can we?

In fact, throughout the email, Ramirez discusses all the dangers of the “how” of Veo displacement, and what can happen in the aftermath.  But my question — and what Ramirez neglects to mention — is why.

The most obvious answer lies in our thriving fraternity population — there have been stranger initiations over the course of history.  But there’s no way frat guys have the necessary coordination. Getting lucky once or twice, sure, I could see it. But as many times as a turquoise gargoyle has stood impossibly on the ledge of a building?  No way.

Barring organized tomfoolery, what could the motivation possibly be? Is it a statement against Veo and their high costs? A response to their appalling customer service?

Or is it A&M’s newest tradition to strive for loftier and loftier placements, constantly upping the Veo ante?

That’s a question that each proud Veo defiler has to answer for themselves.

Charis Adkins is an English sophomore and opinion columnist for The Battalion.

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