Opinion: Buildings Need Improvements
Colleges are expected to be accommodating to all people, no matter the disability. Meredith College has changed some things, but there are still buildings that need improvements to reach a standard.
Lux is the oldest academic building on campus, having been built in 1956. Despite some improvements to the building, it still has ways to go before it is completely accessible to all.
An elevator was added to the building, but there are no signs to find the elevator which leads to new people either thinking there is not one or going around the entire building until they can find it. Another problem is that there are three exit doors in the building yet only one ramp. Not only do wheelchair users have a hard time entering and exiting the building, people walking out of the building also have a hard time as they must step down out of the building.
Other than being able to get into the building and changing floors, being in the classroom is also a big problem. Most of the doors have knobs instead of handles like doors in other buildings, which makes it difficult for people who are in wheelchairs and people who do not have much arm strength to turn the knob completely.
Once in the classroom, the desks are small with the chairs attached to them instead of large tables and chairs like other buildings. This makes it difficult for a wheelchair to fit into the classroom as the chair table must be moved in the already cramped room and then they do not have a desk to use. This is also unaccommodating for someone who can not fit in the desk or fits but is very uncomfortable.
Lux also does not have an accessible bathroom on the second floor, which means that wheelchair and walker users must go down the elevator to the first floor every time they need to go to the bathroom.
The Science and Math Building (SMB) also has a few problems in that the doors are quite heavy. Accessible dorms have a keypad that automatically opens the door as they are dense, but the same doors are used in SMB without the push button. This makes it strenuous for people to enter and exit classrooms along with the accessible bathroom.
Other than academic buildings, resident halls also require improvements to make them more accessible. The four main residence halls were one of the first things built when we moved to the current campus over one hundred years ago, and while they have been renovated over the years they need to be updated again.
The flooring in most of the dorms are very old so floorboards stick up along with nails, which is not only dangerous for all students but makes it difficult for people who rely on feeling to move around.
Other than the old flooring, a continuing problem in Brewer is that the elevator is broken despite Brewer having accessible accommodations in the building. This makes it impossible for wheelchair and walker users to meet with their friends that are on the second or third floors.
Many of the buildings need improvements to be accessible to everyone and until this happens, no one will be truly equal on our campus. Meredith College needs to step up and fix these problems to create a more inclusive campus for the current and future classes.
By Riley Heeb, Reporter