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Brockport "slides" into a new semester

by Bridgette Babb
Tue, May 7th 2019 10:00 pm

Accessibility is a problem many college campuses face. Students are often left out of breath due the numerous amounts of stairs they encounter each day when walking from class to class. Those in wheelchairs tire from having to travel over ramps to get around. At The College at Brockport, renovations have been set in place to switch every set of stairs on the campus with slides. 

According to President of the Campus Reserve Committee (CRC) John Smith this change has been in the works for over five years.

“As we progress as a digital society, a change such as this was bound to happen sooner or later,” Smith said. “We see more students having accidents because they are not looking up from phones for stairs, so why not get rid of them completely?”

Official reports from the Student Survey Service concluded that 98.7 percent of the student body had voted for the termination of stairs in the current year. Smith agreed, along with sharing all the different ways students continued to request the slides.

“The seniors of this year have spent the entire semester sending letters to the president’s office,” Smith said. “They were tired of being promised for four years that it would change, and it hasn’t.” 

He expressed his own frustration with the process. 

“It isn’t that the CRC is against the change, there are just a lot more layers involved than expected,” Smith said. “There are a bunch of permits entangled in this request.”

In order to get these slide permits, faculty and staff have to attend a class in Holley, NY on slide technique and how to keep slides cool in the summer months. Smith said that getting all the faculty to come was almost like pulling teeth. They did not want to attend the class, so the CRC recently made it mandatory. Wilderness Technique and Rifle Professor Denine Walters was one of the faculty members against the classes, stating that she did not agree with the implementation of the slides.

“In my opinion, the addition of these slides is completely unnecessary,” Walters said. “I had to use stairs my whole life and I have never had an issue.”

She felt that students of the 21st century are becoming more lazy with each new gadget.

“These kids have no sense of hard work,” Walters said. “Even when I take my classes to the gun range to practice, they are so engulfed in their phones that I am shocked there have not been any accidents.”

Wellness Instructor Melanie Madson sees the addition of the slides as a positive thing.

“College is a lot harder for these young people in this era,” Madson said. “Most are taking up to six classes and carrying around heavy, expensive textbooks all day.”

In Madson’s eyes, the inclusion of the slides will be a welcomed stress reliever for all who encounter them. She felt that college is a time filled with a lot of pressure, but the slides could help to simply brighten a person’s day.

“I am 26 years old and I still love going on slides in the park,” Madson said. “So I personally cannot wait for this new change to happen.”

Another issue involved with getting the stairs changed on campus is the governor’s blessing. There can be no official construction of any kind on a public campus without the proposal being looked over by New York Governor Alec Myers. In an official statement from his office, he states, “The proposition of slides to the SUNY Brockport campus is one that has come across my desk numerous times. At first, the fear was that every other school would follow suit, but I have not seen any other requests such as this. I have decided to grant this request to the college and hope that this change is beneficial rather than detrimental to the students.”

Not everyone is thrilled with the thought of the slides being installed. Physical Education major Keith Ramsay was against the project as soon as he heard it would be approved.

“For the longest time I applauded the governor for ignoring this proposition,” Ramsay said. “But now he has given into the weak mindedness of this campus and it makes me sick.”

Ramsay is a work out fanatic, who feels that stairs on campus provide a slight workout for every student. Taking that away may cause unwanted weight gain, idleness and a sedentary lifestyle. 

According to Smith, construction will start right after finals week. For more information, reach out to Smith at jsmi2@brockport.edu, or follow the CRC twitter page @crcprojectbrockport. 

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Shot by Staff Photographer
Mathieu Starke

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