Editorials & Opinions

Campus infrastructure lacks needed accommodations for disabled students, staff, and visitors

By Andrew Mondragon, ‘19

Walking to class on campus on any given day, I would take for granted the fact that I am healthy. One night I was playing intramural soccer and broke my ankle. Now I have to wear a boot and use crutches to go everywhere. With the addition of crutches to my everyday life, I have started to notice the lack of accommodations on campus for someone with physical disabilities. 

I write this to bring to light the problems on campus because while my injury is temporary and will heal with time, someone else may have the same struggles permanently.

The biggest problem with campus for me is doors that don’t have assisted opening. The library has two sets of doors to enter the building. There is an assisted opening button, but it only opens the first set of doors and does not open the second. When I’m exiting the building I hit the button and it only opens the first door and then I have to struggle to push open the second door without falling over. Resident halls don’t have any way to open the doors either.

The second struggle would be the stairs around campus. Living in Oceans Hall on the second floor makes everyday a struggle. Anytime I have to go to class or want to go to my room, I have to spend five minutes climbing the stairs taking it one step at a time. It’s mostly an annoyance for me, but if there is anyone trying to go up or down the stairs at the same time I feel bad for them because I move so slowly. The stairs at Kirkham are the worst because the building has an elevator but it doesn’t even work; I’m stuck taking the stairs while a whole group of students wait because the staircase is so narrow no one else can pass me. Climbing stairs is tough because it causes fatigue quickly. When I want to take a break, I can’t because people behind me are waiting.  

These problems aren’t terrible because they are temporary, but if I were in a wheelchair it would make regular, daily tasks on campus too hard. We are a small campus with low enrollment, and the buildings that present the problems are the oldest buildings on campus. However, our school still needs to be aware of the lack of disability accommodations in the older buildings.

This also limits the locations in which certain professors would be able to teach. If a disabled student enrolls to our campus, how will the school accommodate them? What if someone comes to view the campus and notices the same things I’ve noticed, and that deters them from applying to our school or teaching at our school?

Maybe that seems a little dramatic and the stairs and doors aren’t seen as a big problem, but remember that this is a daily struggle for some people. These small problems can make some people uncomfortable or unable to get into a building or reach a classroom.  

Conscious decisions on a greener lifestyle can impact more than just personal health

By Reana Palmer, ‘18

Habits are scrutinized and lifestyles are judged on a daily basis. A popular dispute in the current era has to do with the aspects of dietary health. Veganism and vegetarianism are becoming increasingly mainstream, causing many to question the overall impacts on not only the human body but the environment as well.

A vegan is someone who chooses to not consume any type of animal product or any trace of byproduct. Vegetarianism differs in that no meat products are consumed, however dairy and other animal byproducts are. These conscious decisions to flip an entire way of living takes major commitment as well as background knowledge on the topic. The people that have decided on this lifestyle have either undoubtedly done their research on the many benefits that come with it, or have a strong emotional connection to the creatures of the Earth.

A popular argument is that vegans do not receive all of the essential nutrients that omnivores obtain from meat products, so they generally have a “weaker” body. Many people believe that by going vegan you can eventually become B12 deficient, causing anemia or problems with pregnancy. B12 is an essential vitamin for a proper working immune system, upkept metabolism, as well as an overall healthy brain. It is commonly believed that this vitamin is found in animal products, which is why the vegan diet is often condemned.

The truth is that B12 is not naturally found in any type of food product, it comes from soil and the human body itself. Of course animal products contain B12 because they are being fed crops grown in dirt. On top of that, many agriculture factories inject their animals with supplements to market their products as B12 abundant, said Emily Moran Barwick on bitesizedvegan.

Another common misconception is that one cannot have a strong, muscle retaining body while being vegan. This can be argued by the many professional athletes who have chosen this dietary path. Melody Schoenfeld is a competitive powerlifter who has been a vegan for fourteen years. She can deadlift twice her own body weight and has been recognized at state and national level. According to her blog on breakingmuscle.com, her strength has not suffered whatsoever and her skin, energy and blood work is always pristine.

Going vegan doesn’t only have direct benefits to the body and health, but positively impacts the entire Earth. Right now, so much mass farming is happening in order to sustain the demand for meat and dairy. Our water resources are being stripped due to the fact that it takes 441 gallons of water to produce only one pound of beef, according to a UC David study. So many third world countries are going hungry and we could so easily help them by providing even half of the food crops used to feed the animals in the meat industry. Not to mention that livestock is a human invention as well as a convenience, and because of it there is a huge influx of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere. With more CO2 being released and deforestation happening at the same time, the Earth is reaching its carbon dioxide capacity. 18% of the overall CO2 contribution comes from this mass number of livestock.

Having emotional attachments to animals is another important factor to some people when deciding to go vegan. Animals share this planet with all of us, and they just want to live life, reproduce, and mind their own business. Even when the label reads “sustainable meat” or “free range,” always be skeptical. These animals did not live life to their full potential being stacked against each other while being force fed hormones to meet a certain quota. There are many videos and documentaries that show the reality of these animals. They’re beaten with bats or tortured through elaborate farming tools and contraptions.

Even if making the full commitment to veganism/vegetarianism seems difficult, you can still choose to make conscious decisions by eating less red meat per day or cutting out dairy products. It’s a process that takes time and research, but undoubtedly has some of the best benefits out of any other lifestyle.