This archived article was written by: Mae Goss
editor in chief
Snow is a part of life for those who live far enough north or south of the equator. To some it’s fun and great to play in while, to others, it’s inconvenient. For Kris Sanford, USU-CEU student, snow means getting to class becomes harder because his transportation is a wheelchair.
The first day of school Sanford was not able to get to his first class in the Computer Business Building (CBB) because the snow wasn’t shoveled on the wheelchair ramp. He said, “One of my buddies pulled me up the stairs.”
Sheila Burghardt, director of facilities, stated that the CBB ramp was overlooked when a staff member shoveled the snow earlier that morning. She said custodians come in at 4 a.m. on weekdays and, if there is two inches of snow or more, they will call in someone to remove the snow.
Sanford said, “It was kind of dumb. I wouldn’t have been able to get to class without [my friend].” He also struggled to get his wheel chair maneuvered through residential life parking lots. “Most people just step over the ice and snow, but my wheel chair simply does not go over any piles of snow or ice throughout the main parking lots.
Burghardt said she was not aware of the snow problem in the residential life parking lots.
Jan Thornton, director of disability resource, said, “I would like to see us prioritize our snow removal and do a walk-through with the disabled students, to see what they need, specifically.”
Burghardt said snow removal is a priority in spite of budget cuts; however they try to keep snow plowing to a minimum on weekends. The WETC campus, located in Indian Canyon, also impacts our budget. When they get snow, they have to have snow removal as well, she said.
Burghardt said she would like to get the faculty to work with the students with special needs so they can still have class.
Thornton said we needed to pay special attention to students with special needs. An example she gave was to fix the ADA buttons on campus and make sure they are OCR (Office for Civil Rights) compliant.
She said, “ There’s a difference between compliant and accessible. And if it’s not accessible, it’s not compliant.”