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MC Handicapped Accessible

May 5, 2016

As freshman pile into the chairs facing the storied Wallace Hall, the slogan “What College Was Meant to Be” rings in the ears of students, administration, and faculty. With moderately affordable education through alumni donations and student tuition, Monmouth College as an institution prides itself on being an excellent liberal arts college accessible to students of all disciplines and backgrounds.

A large amount of this excellence is implemented through the facilities designed to provide the optimal learning experience. With new buildings and updated technology in the classroom, Monmouth is consistently taking strides to improve its accommodations. One issue has remained without improvement however, with more attention being drawn to it every year: The general lack of handicapped access.

With the exception of the Center for Science and Business, Monmouth’s academic buildings are steeped in history. Built before elevators became a standard addition, Wallace Hall, McMichael Academic, Dahl Chapel and Austin Hall are only a few of the academic buildings that have stairs as the only means of moving between floors. With the different elevations of the campus, often it’s impossible to navigate the southern part of campus “stair-free” without having to walk the very edges of the campus itself.

While additions to buildings can be expensive, it’s important that Monmouth begin prioritizing their issues. Funds for new buildings may look better for alumni and trustee members, but do they broaden the accessibility for students and visiting family that lack the ability to physically navigate easily? Or do they simply force the school to reorganize yet another class to be located on a ground floor?

Monmouth emphasizes their mission to provide a quality education to students of every type. But when the administration refuses to make commitments towards structure improvements that are blatantly absent and out-of-date, one must question how seriously Monmouth takes this mission. It’s time the student body demand Monmouth take care of its injured and disabled, and dedicate funds towards providing the Monmouth experience to all who seek it, and not just those capable of reaching the third floor of Wallace.

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