By Cecilia Cress
Students expressed concern over places and facilities on campus that they feel are not safe or accessible to those with disabilities.
The Student Government Association sent an email to students on Nov. 1 with a Google form attached, asking students if they “know of a specific area on campus that is unsafe, isn’t level, or inaccessible.”
“This will help us make a list of what areas to focus on when making plans for repairs,” the email said.
The Google form was looking for feedback concerning the quality of athe sidewalks on campus, specifically any areas “where the walk isn’t leveled, big dips, tripping hazards,” and more. The form asked students to describe where these places are so that improvements can be scheduled.
“The sidewalks are a visible problem for everyone on campus, and it’s a place we can start…SGA sent out a Google form that asked students and staff for areas of concern, specifically in the sidewalks on campus, to try and find points on campus for improvement. The results from the Google form were sent to the risk management committee, and we are awaiting next steps from that,” Secretary of Student Life of SGA and sophomore Kamden Richardson said.
Some students agree that the sidewalks need improvement, and that they can be a hazard to students in certain weather conditions, like rain, sleet, or snow.
“Honestly, the sidewalks are extremely uneven. When I had a boot and crutches, I was scared to walk to class,” senior Alisha White said. “When it rains, it floods and then there’s nowhere to walk, so you have to walk through the water. And when it snows, everyone slips.”
“There’s always bricks sticking out and I’ve tripped on them many times. Once I rolled my ankle,” senior Julia Kuchnio said.
According to Richardson, concerns were first raised by junior Jonah Nicholson, who realized that some areas of campus were unsafe or inaccessible.
“[Nicholson] raised some concerns about campus being unsafe, and inaccessible. I took these concerns to [Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students] Dr. Sarah Feyerherm and came up with a plan to address the issue. There is a large issue of our campus not being ADA accessible, and it’s a concern that my position as secretary of Student Life can address,” Richardson said.
According to Richardson, the sidewalks are just the beginning of the process. SGA and others hope for further campus accessibility improvements in the future.
“I’m hoping this will open the conversation, and awareness to accessibility issues on campus, and work towards making campus more accessible for everyone,” Richardson said.