Improbable edit

The Star’s editorial board seems to have fallen prey to an all-or-none mentality in its Jan. 28 editorial when it writes “What’s more important—handicapped accessibility or having classes to attend in the first place?” Why must one be exclusive of the other? First, it seems awfully improbable that NIU will cut enormous numbers of classes in order to make buildings more accessible to people with disabilities. Perhaps the editorial argument would be slightly more believable if the writers provided readers with a few facts about how much accessibility will cost and what university accounts that money will come from.

Second, simply because there aren’t many students with disabilities at NIU is no justification for denying them access, as the editorial suggests. If NIU officials were only concerned with utilitarianism and serving the needs of the majority, we wouldn’t have many of the programs that we now have. For example, members of NIU athletics teams are in the minority also, yet their cause merits substantial amounts of university money and at least two pages of coverage every day in the Star. Why is asking for something as basic as access to campus buildings seen as an outrageous request

Finally, students with disabilities pay to be educated at NIU. They should not have to justify wanting to have equal access to classrooms and other campus facilities. To deny them access—deliberately or by negligence—seems nothing short of discriminatory.

Michelle Landrum