As a campus that strives to accept academic excellence from all people, accessibility to accommodate those of all physical abilities should be at the utmost importance to Roger Williams. It is easy when you are not directly connected to a problem to forget it exists for numerous others.
However, just because the majority of the campus is not directly impacted by an issue should not diminish its importance. Our university’s commitment to attracting and preserving diversity on campus is a topic that should be important to each and every one of us. We want the best and brightest applicants our university can take but cannot get them if they are unable to do something as simple as comfortably navigate the campus.
It is important to note that our university has implemented multiple changes to make our campus more handicap-accessible in recent years. The sliding glass doors to the Library and School of Business, elevator in the College of Arts and Sciences, and public safety transportation at times for those who are unable to walk comfortably to classes are all improvements to be commended. The Student Accessibility Services also provides aid for academic purposes such as extended time for test taking, alternate/electronic texts, and note-taking assistance for those with documented disabilities. However, there is still much that can be done in order to make our campus welcome to everyone.
Unnoticed by the much of the general student body, there are places all over campus that could heavily benefit from some reconstruction. The most obvious example is the Intercultural Center which can only be entered up a flight of stairs. As an institution that is dedicated to accepting and promoting all kinds of diversity on campus, it seems absurd that not everyone is physically able to attend its center.
For obstacles such as putting in more accessible dining tables, offering resources catered to all members of our student population, and responding justly if mistreatment is reported towards students with disabilities Roger Williams acts quickly and fairly. It is the larger tasks such as putting a ramp into the Intercultural Center or building a student union where everyone could go to meet up separate from residence halls (mostly inaccessible) or academic buildings that need the support and attention of all students and faculty. If we all put our minds towards earning these services, we can all benefit from the well-being and happiness of a better, inclusive campus.