At the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, Notre Dame College decided to provide rental bikes for students as a way of getting around, and enjoying all that the area around them has to offer.
But the Zagsters aren’t around any more. They seem to have recently gone missing and are nowhere to be found outside of the Falcons’ Nest student center.
The credit-swiping bikes for share seemingly have been removed from their rental rack, and all that can be seen are broken locks.
Many around campus are curious as to why the bikes have vanished and wondering if they have been reported misplaced or even if they might have been stolen by visitors or passers-by.
“I’m in disbelief that someone would steal one of the bikes,” said Tonya Anderson, a sophomore. “I don’t understand it. Don’t steal, and just buy your own!”
There is no indication as to where the bikes went or if the mystery might involve student victims or suspects.
Karen Poelking, the vice president for Board and community relations at Notre Dame and an overseer for the bike program, was unavailable.
Some students think people could have peddled all the two-wheelers to other locations and left them for another ride back. Some stories circulating suggest the bikes were shared among students rather than returned and re-rented. Others say some were abandoned in nearby neighborhoods or woods.
Right now, only Poelking would know if there is a search of any sorts going on as far as these college-sponsored bikes.
One student said whatever the story it might not be good to have the bikes found or replaced, if that should ever be considered.
Anthony Irby, a junior at Notre Dame, said if the bikes have been stolen and students have anything to do with it, this campus might want to beware of something potentially worse than disciplinary hearings.
“I think that the college might stop doing nice things like this, especially for students, if they have been stolen,” Irvby said. “I don’t think they should replace the bikes because they may get stolen again. Who knows?”
Talk of security also is surfacing. College police officers referred questions about the bikes to Poelking. Students such as Anderson believe campus safety should “have to be upped,” in the wake of missing Zagsters, whereas Irby trusts that security “is just fine.”
The five now missing Zagster bikes were available for up to 24 hours of usage, were rented with debit or credit cards on site and promoted a healthy and green alternative to driving.
One student said a bike was found in the wooded area behind South Hall a short time ago, but no one seems to know where it is now, while the other bikes don’t seem to have reappeared recently in any way.
Again, no one seems to know if the bikes were stolen, but that seems to be the popular theory among students. And no one seems to understand why that may have been their fate.
“Times are hard, but there’s no reason to steal,” said Anderson.
It is unclear if those bikes will ever reappear, so this case of the missing Zagsters likely will remain open.