Front Page News

Lack of accessibility disrupts learning environment

By: Shay Rogers, Staff Reporter

Nineteen of the automatic door opening buttons are not working on Main Campus, said Executive Council of Students member and Engineering major Cesar Silva.

ECOS members checked every button on Main campus after a student, who is tem­porarily in a wheel­chair, complained to the group about the problem, said Silva.

“We went around and checked all the buttons on campus and found broken ones in almost every building,” he said.

Computer Systems Information major Tariq Bashir said he has been in a wheelchair for 10 years and has had repeated prob­lems with the buttons on campus.

“If one button is working, the other side isn’t. It’s been like that for three years at least. There’s always a door that doesn’t work,” he said.

There have been many times when he has had to force a door open because of the broken buttons, which is a task that causes a lot of stress and frus­tration, said Bashir.

“When you’re coming through a door and you can’t hit the button, you have to try to push it with your feet or bulldoze the door open. That is what I’ve become accustomed to, which is sad, because as a student, those are the things I shouldn’t have to be dealing with,” he said.

Director of Safety Gilbert Gallegos said the door openers aren’t on a regular testing schedule, so it would be helpful if students or employees faculty would take the time to let them know about these issues.

“It’s not a staffing issue, it’s not a budget issue, it’s just we didn’t know there was a problem,” he said.

When students notice an automatic door not working, they should find a CNM employee, he said.

“A lot of people hit it and it doesn’t work, so they just open it up and go on their way, but guess what, that is one person who could’ve notified our office, not for them­selves, but for their fellow students,” he said.

“You tell us where they’re at, and they’re as good as taken care of,” said Gallegos.

Bashir said that CNM needs to be more proactive about issues like this. He said he feels that there has been a lack of care coming from the administration about the needs of the disabled.

“It’s inhumane. As a person with a disability you already feel like you’re excluded when it comes to certain things,” he said.

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