After several workers resigned last week, the University of Wisconsin announced Wednesday the SAFEwalk program has been fully re-staffed and will be providing an extra team of walkers each night during finals week.

From Sunday through Thursday, in addition to SAFEride cab service being available until 6 a.m. instead of 3 a.m., there will be three teams of walkers instead of two to serve the campus.

According to Gordon Graham, UW Transportation Services administrator, SAFEwalk usually cuts its service to provide just two teams per night during finals, but it is providing an extra team to meet a possible increase in demand.

Matt Waite, a UW junior and recently resigned SAFEwalker, said the program is still understaffed compared to past years. He added he does not believe this is a legitimate effort to improve the program.

“It’s not even extra,” Waite said. “Every single year before that we always had four teams on because there were so many more people at the library (during finals week). I would say it’s them just trying to save their asses.”

After 11 employees resigned last week, the program was only able to schedule two teams for each weeknight and one team on weekends during May, according to a work schedule obtained by The Badger Herald.

Graham, however, asserts the program was able to stay staffed well enough to meet the demand for the service, saying, “We’re pretty happy with the way we’ve recovered.”

Many of the outgoing workers said they were also concerned with the ability of the supervisors to train new hires and did not believe the current hiring process was thorough enough.

Waite said he does not believe the current hiring and training for new employees is adequate. He added there previously was an “intensive” three-step hiring process, but it now seems like supervisor Lisa Fikes is “hiring people randomly off the street.”

According to Graham, he and Fikes are happy with the new hires. He added the main focus of the program will be outreach and education to help students keep themselves safe, not providing escorts for walks home.

“The folks Lisa has hired are on board with our mission of SAFEwalk as an outreach program,” Graham said.

Graham also said the new hires will receive on-the-job training, being paired up to work with veteran SAFEwalkers, and they will also receive “scenario training” from the UW Police Department later this summer.

According to Graham, the program is in good shape.

“I think we’re well positioned to be the eyes and ears of the campus,” Graham said.