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SGA Safety Walk sparks accessibility changes on campus

By: Dylan Pichnarcik

Editorial Staff

Dylan Pichnarcik / THE GATEPOST

A ramp was constructed by Facilities and Capital Planning outside of Peirce Hall on Nov. 14 to meet the needs of members of the community who require an accessible access point to Crocker Grove.


Crocker Grove is a central location for those accessing Dwight Hall, the Athletic Center, Crocker Hall, and the northern side of campus.


The construction was initiated by the SGA’s biannual safety walk on Nov. 8.


The ramp replaced the stone steps that were previously the only way to access the buildings that surround Crocker Grove from the eastern side of Campus Way.


The SGA safety walk is a biannual event at which student leaders and administrators gather to discuss safety and accessibility concerns on campus. It is attended by administrators, including President Nancy Niemi.


Also in attendance was Dan Giard, Director of Facilities, who ordered the replacement of the stone steps for an inclined sidewalk.

The safety walk has been successful in prompting other changes to campus safety, such as adding a light outside of Peirce and Horace Mann halls.


SGA President Evelyn Campbell commended the event.“I feel that the Safety Walk is extremely effective when trying to change accessibility issues on campus.”


She added, “Having a walk to specifically highlight areas of campus that might not be accessibility friendly allows for us to really understand different students' needs that aren’t being met.”


It took approximately two days for the build to be completed and the ramp was available for use shortly after.


Giard commended his employees Manny Santos and Louie Shibaura for working on a weekend to get the ramp completed.


He said this was a project not typically taken on by Facilities.


There was no additional cost to install the ramp as the bricks were repurposed from other demolitions on campus.


At this time, Facilities does not have a specific plan for other alterations to the grounds of FSU. However, Giard offered students the ability to bring concerns to his office.


“My door is always open,” he said. “If you guys [students] think of something that would be an easy fix, I would be more than happy to take a look.”


Along with supporting members of the community, FSU’s commitment to accessibility could draw prospective students to tour and enroll.


The fact that FSU is on a hill poses challenges for some students who are physically disabled.


Kirsten Hoey, Campus Visit Experience manager in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, praised the administration's commitment to accessibility and expressed her desire to see more changes come to other areas on campus.


Hoey oversees student tour guides and has seen the challenges of creating an accessible tour route for prospective students.


She said when the Framingham State community is actively making these changes, it shows “that as a campus we care about this. We want to improve and we realize the challenges we have and we are doing everything in our power to make things better.”


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