Campus police, vendor offer free Car Care Clinic

By Renee Muñiz


The University of the Incarnate Word Police Department helped about 200 vehicles March 7-8 prepare for spring break travel with its first-ever Car Care Clinic.

Cpl. Jim Snow, community and compliance officer with UIW, said he wanted to show the campus how concerned the police department is for their students, staff and faculty.

“Everybody’s getting ready to leave for spring break and as they drive down to the beach or go to the mountains or whatever they’re gonna do, even if they just go home or around town, they got to get out on the road,” Snow said before the break. “So, we’re gonna make an effort to make sure that their car is safe to drive.”

The clinic took place three hours each afternoon in front of Kelso Art Center. Within the first half hour of the first day, about 30 cars took advantage of the free clinic. The police partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change, 5401 Broadway.

Spencer Mason, area manager for Valvoline, was one of the four employees who assisted with the clinic on both days.

“I require all my managers to put together at least one community service project a quarter, so this was a great match,” Mason said.

Since this was a basic safety check, there was not much hands-on maintenance. Various features of the vehicle were inspected such as windshield wipers, oil, tire pressure and lights. If vehicles needed it, the employees would top off washer fluid and air up tires.

Along with this, Snow created a pamphlet including safety tips and a $10 off coupon for an oil change at the local Valvoline.

The coordination between the police department and Valvoline created an efficient environment for drivers. However, some students were unable to make the event due to conflicting schedules.

Rachel Villacorta, sophomore graphic design major, was one of them. She said she heard about the free clinic the day of the event.

“I was walking by it and they were like, ‘Oh hey, come bring your car! It’s free!’ ” Villacorta said, adding she was very interested in the offer but had class during the same time.

Although a mass e-mail was sent the day before to inform the university community of the event, Villacorta said she would have liked to know about it a few days in advance.

Snow said he had been looking forward to this event since his previous years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

“They’ve been doing this for 20 years, and so I’ve seen how it’s grown on their campus,” Snow said. “And I believe it was just a great project that we could bring here and start from the ground up and build the program ourselves.”

With the clinic’s success, both Snow and Mason hope to see it occur more frequently on campus.

Mason said, “I had nothing but great experiences both my days and can’t wait to come back and hopefully repeat the process bigger and better moving forward before the next break.”

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