Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

University Must Make Campus Accessible

Friday, May 19, 2006 To the Editor: I am a graduate of Georgetown University and also a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic, having been injured in an automobile accident when I was 10 years old. I read with interest your editorial about handicap accessibility on the main campus (“Make GU Accessible,” THE HOYA, May 2, 2006, A2). During my four years of college, I lived in Village C and Village A. When I first arrived on campus, Village C did not even have a wheelchair ramp for the few steps opposite Parking Lot 3 (the new Southwest Quadrangle). The Georgetown administration apparently thought that it was appropriate for a person in a wheelchair to enter Village C via the dormitory’s loading dock area, which is only accessible by climbing half of the steep hill between Village C and New South and is normally used as a staging area for maintenance work and garbage removal. Additionally, the Reiss Science Building’s rear lobby (opposite the Leavey Center) had a temporary and very unsafe ramp for its few stairs and White-Gravenor’s and Copley’s elevators were undependable and completely unable to accommodate a power wheelchair. The administration was always very willing to attempt to alleviate my accessibility issues. Without me notifying them of the issues, however, they lacked the know-how necessary to improve accessibility. Though the campus is much more accessible to wheelchairs now than it was previously, there are still a lot of practical, simple solutions that are being overlooked. For example, if the administration allowed wheelchair access into Lauinger Library from the corner of N and 37th Streets (an emergency-only exit now), it would allow access to the library’s elevators, and consequently, it would become much easier and more efficient for a person in a wheelchair to go from Prospect Street or the Walsh Building to the heart of campus and avoid a lot of inclines. Hopefully, the Georgetown administration will continue to make the Hilltop a more level field for all its students, staff and guests. Robert Cushmac (SFS ’96) Alexandria, Va. May 5, 2006

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