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Campus Critique

Last updated on November 13, 2019




CT: The other thing is you feel like you see a lot of ramps around campus, but the actual navigation of those ramps aren’t as easy as you want them to be when getting from a certain building to another. For instance, the science center to Campion, there is a nice little ramp for you, but if you’re going from Barbelin to Opake it is a weird route you’re going to take

MD: Yeah, it’s the same thing for Mandeville to the science center. There’s no ramps and you have to be very careful on it and it’s the campus is pretty knew, but there’s some issues they need to change out. What buildings should we start off with?

CT: I’ll talk about the library first. I checked out and the first thing I noticed is that the entrance doors are big, heavy and glass pulling doors. There’s no way someone in a wheelchair could open these doors. From experience, I know there is an automatic way to open the door, but it can only be done if someone is sitting at the help desk. Basically you need to ask a friend to get the door opened or wait for someone to hold it for you. It’s not something someone on wheels could do on their own. also, you need to get into the library by swiping in with your SJU ID, depending on the height of your wheelchair it could be a huge inconvenience to actually swipe in. You have to reach up high and it can cause a huge problem for someone in a wheelchair. A lot of the other stuff is minor inconveniences. They do have an elevator and there is a ramp that connects the second Old and New sides, and that is pretty convenient. Something I noticed is that the quiet study areas are very close quartered and if you want to navigate through those bookshelves, you may not be able to do so in a wheelchair. It may be hard and not only that but it would be a hassle to get those chairs out of the way. It would be a huge pain and you don’t want to get in other people’s way. I also thought that printing would be a major hassle, for the same reasons swiping in would be. You have to swipe to do it and reach up high. There’s a good chance that someone on wheels won’t be able to reach up high and swipe to print their own documents. They may have to ask someone else for help which obviously is not ideal. The water fountains are OK. I thought that if I was in a wheelchair and wanted a quiet place to study, I would go third floor New side. This is because they have big desk spaces and there is a lot of room to maneuver around. These are my takeaways from the library. I wouldn’t say it’s in great condition and there are rooms for improvement.

MD: There’s definitely open opportunities, but it’s limited.

CT: Yeah, there are places for people in wheelchairs to access and the bathrooms are good, but people do use the handicap stalls when they don’t need to. Getting up and down is doable, but it is much more doable on the new side. if you want to get to the old side, you would have to wheel across and get there like that.

MD: It is a newer building. Now, we’ll go behind the library to the Science Center. I thought the Science Center was a pretty accessible from the outside. There is a wheelchair accessible button on the entrance of the right side of the building. The one problem that I had was you go in the entrance and the elevator is on the complete other side. You have to go to the left side down the hallway and then down a hallway to the left then you get to the elevator. If you are running late to class then this can obviously take a lot of time and I did not go into the elevator physically. I wanted to try to go up and down into it to see how long it takes. It takes a lot of time, I thought the hallways were a little small. I know it’s an older building and so it might be harder for someone to move in a wheelchair. Obviously the steps are terrible, these steps are so small. It would not even be a question and even with our first guest. Someone who is just trying to walk up the steps hopping up the stairs and that is going to be a complete issue because they are very small and steep steps and barely two people can go up back and forth.

CT: Yep, those are a work out for anyone walking up on two feet they are a struggle.

MD: I know, the other day on Wednesday, I was trying to go up to the third floor up and down. Then I also noticed little things like in some of the newer building we have noticed near most the classrooms (signage) there is braille. I noticed in the science center that that was not the case anywhere. Merion has that, Mandeville does as well and that’s not the case (here). The only thing I found was a telephone symbol with Braille and I took a picture of that. Maybe we can post that later. I thought that was interesting that was the only thing that they had. The lighting was alright and at times it felt a little dark especially at night walking in there. Especially there is a back hallway too but overall it works but there definitely could be improvements. There could be a handicap accessible entrance on the left side so it’s easier to go right to the elevator instead of having to maneuver a couple hallways.

CT: Right.

MD: That was my little take.

CT: So, that is the science center and the other building I took a look at on Wednesday was campion. Campion is ok, it is different and an interesting building on the way that its set-up. It has a lot of different purposes, so the number one thing about buildings like library and campion no matter what your major is, what you are interested in, what clubs your in, you have to go to campion and the library. I feel like those are such important buildings especially campion. Freshman year that is where you eat everyday.

MD: That’s where you go.

CT: So to not be able to access those buildings easily is definitely a tough thing. Similar to the library campion is kinda tough to get into if your on a wheelchair because you have to go through two sets of door to get in. There’s only way you can enter if your in a wheelchair and that is on the side facing villiger (freshman dorm). You can not go in any other way because other way you would have to deal with a staircase. You have to go all the way around in which is a huge hassle in many cases coming from the other side of campus. Then theres is a elevator that will take you up for down a floor, up or down obviously. I noticed when you go into campion dining hall to eat, workers will slide your card as most people know. So, that makes it easier compared to the library where you have to swipe yourself in and that’s nice. But, so of the food may be hard to access.

MD: That’s definitely an issue.

CT:  If your not ordering food from someone like at the paste station or omelette line it can be an issue to get stuff at the grill station, salad station, it really is not ideal for someone in a wheelchair is not going to be able to reach back and get all the ingredients they want for a salad or maybe not be able to reach for fries or toppings for their burger things in that nature. I just thought of that. Then I was really impressed on how smooth it was to get from normal Campion dining hall to DB. (cough) Excuse me.  Because there were no bumps going in or out of any of the rooms. It was very smooth, there were some rugs but that did not cause much of an issue. The one problem with DB is because there is that elevated area that goes up three to four steps, so obviously you couldn’t get there in a wheelchair which is unfortunate especially if DB is super crowded. Ordering food all the people make the food there and the person at the register will swipe your card for you so don’t need to reach for that. As far as the upstairs part of Campion, there are some narrow hallways up there over by student senate

MD: Those would be really tough, I was thinking about that. Barely one person can walk in that hallway.

CT: Exactly, just even walking I felt claustrophobic, there are some sharp turns too to get around

MD: And they really can’t get to the third floor for student activities. There is an elevator on the other side in the back for the food, but not many people know where that is and its very slow

CT: The only other thing I noticed was the bathrooms have some pretty sharp bumps going in and out of them so that obviously is a huge inconvenience trying to make their way around but other than that, I think they’re OK. Similar to when we talked to Ryan last week. Things are OK, it’s not like somebody that is temporarily in a situation where they’re wheeling around is gonna have a huge issue, but would I point to these buildings as a great example of accessibility on a college campus? No. Definitely not. It’s just not all totally accessible.

MD: And for our last building, probably the newest building, Mandeville. I was a little surprised at some of the stuff, they do have an elevator there is a wheelchair accessible entrance but the elevator is in the back towards the parking lot, and it’s also in a very hidden spot, in this hidden hallway. So originally I was looking for this elevator, I thought it was right in the front, but then its in the back, so that can be a hard time to maneuver that cause it matters where your coming from. If your coming from the parking lot that’s fine but I think a lot of people might be coming in the other entrance, so that can be difficult to maneuver. Saying that, the hallways are pretty wide I don’t think there’s an issue with that. I feel like that was one thing I definitely noticed. I think the Mandeville hallways are definitely newer and there’s more space for people to get through, that shouldn’t be an issue. The classrooms, they’re much bigger, shouldn’t be much of an issue to get a wheelchair in. The lighting, I thought was pretty decent with the hallways. I was looking for maybe a guardrail or something, didn’t have any of those. I think it’s accessible, some stuff they can definitely improve on. The stairs are so tight, it’s nearly impossible.

CT: Especially with someone coming down the other way, no way

MD: And it’s steep, that’s definitely an issue they didn’t really think out. Also, Mandeville to anywhere else, you pretty much have to go on the side of the road, that is an issue.

CT: Definitely some valid concerns, not perfect. A lot of the stuff is fixable, there’s not too many parts that we covered that couldn’t be fixed with a summer of hard word. Anyway, that’s it for today’s episode of Yo, is this accessible? So from me Matt, Matt, and Limm hope you guys have a great week and we’ll see you next week.

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