Millikin’s lack of handicap access

Caitlin Husted, Staff Writer

As students walk through the residence halls at Millikin University, it’s obvious that one thing is missing: elevators. Sure, not having elevators allows college students to get a little extra physical activity by walking up stairs, but what about those who are disabled and are unable to? What happens to them?

Out of the nine residence halls on Millikin’s campus, Dolson is the only one with an elevator. If all of Millikin’s students were healthy and safe, then this wouldn’t be a problem. However, that’s not the case.

Sophomore nursing Major Andrew Griffin broke his foot Sept. 5 of last year and was on crutches until early November. Being a resident in Dolson, Griffin had the advantage of an elevator, which was useful.

“[Using an elevator] is a lot easier than trying to climb up a flight of stairs with crutches because it’s difficult to do. If you’re not skilled enough to hop up on one foot, you’re going to fall a couple of times,” Griffin said.

However, whenever he would visit a friend’s room, he would have to suffer up the flights of stairs. Griffin had a friend who lived on the fourth floor of Hessler and trying to climb the stairs with a bum foot was challenging and time consuming.

Not only does the lack of elevators affect students, but it affects their families as well.

Sophomore Theater major Katelyn Rumph’s mother has a discrepancy where her left side doesn’t work as well as her right, which makes climbing stairs difficult for her.

“When there is more than one flight of stairs, it is more difficult for her to walk up and down because her knee starts to hurt,” Rumph said.

When Rumph went to move into Weck Hall this year, her mother was unable to come due to the fact that there weren’t any elevators for her to use.

“She felt like because she couldn’t move up and down the stairs that she would just be in the way. So she decided to stay home,” Rumph said.

There’s something to say when a mother is unable to join her daughter for the exciting day of moving back onto campus. It’s one thing to cause issues for the students, but when their families begin to feel the effects, something should be done.

“We’re young, reckless college students [and] we are likely to get injured. It would be much easier to have an elevator to get around,” Griffin said.