Is Q.U. Handicap Accessible?

Student athletes combine to make up roughly 50% of the Quincy University student body; and with athletes comes injuries. At any point during the school year it is likely that at least one student athlete can be seen hobbling across campus on their way to class. A school with such an injury inclined student population would certainly make sure that all of their facilities could accommodate the students who so proudly wear Q.U. brown on the field right? Questions have been raised recently regarding just how handicap friendly Q.U. actually is.

All non-residential, on-campus buildings have a wheelchair accessibly ramp leading into the building. The Brenner Library, Health and Fitness Center, Francis Hall, and North Campus also come equipped with an elevator which allows students unable to climb the stairs to get to class. Are these accommodations enough though? Sophomore, Nia Roth, does not think so.

As a member of the Q.U.  lady’s basketball team Nia has experienced several leg injuries four of which required invasive knee surgery; thus, leaving her on crutches for extensive periods of time.

“Getting to class is definitely one of the biggest struggles that comes with a leg injury while at school,” said Roth.

In order to enter Francis hall without using stairs, the student must enter through the ground level door next to the Hawk Hangout, go down a ramp, scan their student i.d. while pushing the auto-open button, then make a left having to hike half the length of the building to the elevator, where they sometimes have to wait up to 5 minutes for the doors to open. After they reach their classroom door, they then have to find a way to balance while swiping their i.d yet again and having to pull open a door.

If a student wanted to exit Francis Hall they would have to retrace their steps all the way back to the Hawk Hangout ground level exit. What if they needed to get to the library though? This would require the long journey all the way around Francis Hall, then down the ramp found in front of the Brenner Library.  In the end, students on crutches reach their destination, but does that mean that Q.U. is really handicap accessible?

“Q.U. is definitely not accessible. Getting to class was tough but what’s worse is that I live on the fourth floor of Willer hall which has no elevator. I was forced to hop on one leg all the way up to my room which is pretty hard,” said Roth.

The residence halls on campus range in their ability to accommodate for crutching students. Willer Hall is one of the worst with only two ground level suites and no elevator. Woods hall is not much better due to the required use of stairs to enter a majority of the rooms. Both Helein and Garner are about the same, both requiring the use of stairs to get to the rooms with the exception of one floor in Garner.

The two most accessible residence halls are the Student Living Center, and Friar Hall. Both come with ramps and elevators leading to each floor.

An injured athlete might have it rough getting around campus getting on crutches, but what about a student who uses a wheel chair? Ian Howell happens to be the only wheel chair bound student who attends Q.U. Howell, a junior,  is majoring in journalism and has been getting around campus without being able to climb the stairs for nearly three years now.

“Overall, I think that Q.U. is handicap accessible, but I only go to the main campus class rooms and such,” said Howell.

Howell has never experienced the dorm life on campus because he is a commuter.

” I haven’t been in the dorms, but I’ve heard they aren’t really accessible. North Campus is also a bit difficult to get around in, but the new construction has made it somewhat better,” said Howell.

Howell also added that any new improvements that might be made in the future to Q.U.’s accessibility would not affect him, but he hopes that things improve for future students.

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