Catch 22

As a commuting student who has a temporary physical disability, I question the archaic and redundant practices of the University Health Service and University Parking Services.

I recently fractured my foot, and require crutches and a cast. In an attempt to obtain closer parking facilities, I have had some very unsatisfactory experiences with the previously mentioned campus services.

Because the University Parking Services cannot, or will not, make individual judgement calls on injuries (regardless of doctors’ notes or the obvious nature of the injury), students who are not particularly ambulatory to begin with are required to go to University Health Services to first verify a disability before securing any closer parking through Parking Services. It turns out that there are no parking places considered to be “temporary handicapped” spaces. Therefore, any “closer” parking places one might qualify for may not be significantly closer. Incidentally, the only way to qualify for a “handicapped” parking spot is to have a disability for one year minimum and it takes six weeks to obtain the state permit that the university requires.

My experiences with University Health Services were also poor. Not only is there inadequate parking near Health Services, I had to wait an inordinate amount of time for a doctor to look at my foot and determine that I did, indeed, have a legitimate cast.

I consider myself fortunate that I soon will be able to bear full weight on my cast because I realize that, given the poor accommodations and insensitivity to needs, I would have had no choice but to withdraw from the university this semester. I sympathize with anyone who finds him or herself in this “Catch 22” situation for longer than I, since it would be virtually impossible to pursue a degree at this university.

Joanne Cleereman