Simple solutions

After reading the article titled “NIU’s budget already stretched” in The Northern Star on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1992, I just had to write to the editor.

There is a simple way to stop discriminating against the disabled students and it would not cost a dime. NIU could lock all the non-accessible washrooms and entrances in all buildings, and the non-disabled students and faculty would no longer have the unfair advantage. For example, Cole Hall, which I have been told would be too expensive to make the washrooms accessible would have the washrooms and rear entrances locked. In the Holmes Student Center, all entrances except for the southwest one would be locked and the Huskies Den would be closed. Even though this plan probably already sounds great, I saved the best for last! Just so that the students have enough restrooms, NIU could rent those portable outhouses like the ones supplied to the disabled at the football games, although there are about twelve buildings with non-accessible restrooms. You get the idea?!

I think this plan is just what NIU needs to spark the awareness to the problems that the disabled students face everyday. When I was a child and could not play fair, my parents would take away the toy until I could play fair! I know that NIU would not last one week, but I do dare NIU to activate such a plan. Ninety percent of you would most likely change colleges, but it would open some eyes! I say you, because I am one of the few disabled students on this campus and I have already considered changing schools due to the lack of accessibility.

I was brought up to believe in helping your neighbor and I get mad when so much money is spent on things that have no material purpose. Making NIU accessible is not an extra expense, but a necessity. In these hard times, it is time for all departments and organizations to stop being so selfish and start helping to make this campus accessible and safer for all. Maybe then the disabled students will grow in number and feel welcome here!

As for the author of “NIU’s budget already stretched”, I bet that you could not last one week in a wheelchair; put your money where your mouth is!!

Victor W. Grimaldi

Electrical Engineering