Letter to the Editor: Administrator refutes accessibility criticism

To the editor:

I applaud the students who have taken the initiative to highlight ways in which we can improve accessibility for, and visibility of, people who use crutches or wheelchairs at Geneseo. People with disabilities are an important part of what makes our campus vibrant and diverse.

I would, however, like to correct some misstatements made in the recent Lamron article. The college has addressed a number of the issues that were raised two years ago. We have worked with Residence Life to ensure that students are given the choice to move to accessible rooms, the parking issue has been resolved, a problem-reporting system is in place, and a map that includes not only the location of parking spaces and automatic doors, but elevators, accessible drinking fountains, bathrooms and areas of refuge is being developed. There is a shuttle service on campus that stops just outside Welles and South Hall, and at the end of the sidewalk to Milne and Newton. While the Milne stop is not as desirable, the approaches near Welles and South Halls are flat, and through South Hall, students have access to Sturges, Fraser and Welles as well. We are unable to offer individualized transportation services. While the article suggests that this type of service is offered by other SUNY institutions, this is not the case. Most, but not all, offer bus service that circles the outside of the academic areas.

Finally, it saddens me to hear that a student would not come for assistance based solely on hearsay. I know I could have been very helpful with planning routes and schedules. (And, as an aside, during my tenure here at Geneseo, I have never been off campus for more than one week at a time.) There are areas in which we need to be more vigilant, and dialogue about the concerns of students with disabilities is essential. I do hope, though, that we can address these issues honestly to move toward solutions that will provide equitable and safe accessibility for everyone within our campus community.

Tabitha Buggie-Hunt

Assistant Dean

Disability Services