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Letter to the Editor: OU should tackle accessibility concerns in dorms

Dear Editor,

My name is Lauren Novak, and I am a sophomore here at Ohio University currently studying Communications. I am writing to strongly encourage school policymakers and faculty members to tackle the safety and accessibility concerns on campus. 

I am deeply concerned by the apparent neglect of an issue that impacts many students: the absence of elevators in dormitory halls. After a day of attending classes, numerous students return to their dormitories only to face the daunting task of climbing four flights of stairs if they reside on the fourth floor. This presents a significant challenge for students without disabilities and is even more intimidating for those with disabilities.

There are thirty-six dorms here on campus, and 14 of them have elevators. Three dorms on East Green,10 dorms on South Green and one dorm on West Green have elevators. This indicates that students with disabilities are more inclined to reside on South Green. This also presents a problem, as South Green is the farthest from most campus activities. If students with disabilities are more likely to live in South Green, they will face an even greater distance to reach these activities. 

I believe installing elevators in dormitories closer to activities would be beneficial. This disadvantage not only affects students with disabilities but may also deter incoming freshmen from choosing Ohio University over other options. Students place significant importance on dorm tours, often basing their college decisions on the quality of dormitory renovations. 

Increasing the number of elevators would benefit both the students and the future of Ohio University. In conclusion, addressing the absence of elevators in dormitory halls is vital for the well-being of Ohio University students. These renovations are essential for meeting students’ needs and enhancing the university's long-term reputation. It is imperative that school policymakers and faculty give priority to these changes for the betterment of the entire university community. 

Thank you,

Lauren Novak

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