First, we wanted to thank you for your feedback. One of the things that we stand for is student engagement, and we are happy to see the Campus Times engaging with us.
All students have the right to have equal access to their campus, which is why one of the items our platform really focuses on is improving accessibility. The second floor of Wilson Commons is not accessible from the main entrance. Students have to rely on the lift inside Common Connections, which is outdated and unreliable. While writing our platform, one of the things that we wanted to ensure was that anything that we promise is feasible and that it is something that we will follow through with. That being said, we have already been corresponding with Laura Ballou, the Director of Wilson Commons, about the different ways to make the area more accessible to all students. With recommendations from Laura, we want to push for a modern lift to be installed on the second floor of Wilson Commons outside of the Common Connections office. This would ensure that everyone could reliably access Wilson Commons.
One of the issues that we have set out to remedy with our campaign is the Dining Hall hours during breaks. Before sending our profile to Campus Times, we were in communication with Dining Services about extending operation hours for Hillside to allow students access to necessities during breaks. Specifically, we were in communication with Cameron Schauf, the director of campus Dining Services. We are very excited to share that we have finally heard back and the Spring Break operations hours for Hillside will be extended to 1–10 p.m. instead of the usual 1–4 p.m. This is exciting for us because we have already accomplished something that we set out to do, and this change benefits many students on our campus. This shows the dedication that we have and our ability to get things done and improve student life on campus.
Our current Safe Zone Program is very substantial. However, one of the things we have noticed is that our peer institutions like Princeton University also allow for Safe Zone-trained individuals to be available by phone. This is a resource that would allow for students to contact someone by phone should they express microaggressions, want to explore avenues of coming out, or just want to speak to someone about anything they may currently be facing. This resource would be confidential, so students would not have to worry about filtering the information that they give. We spoke with Colleen Raimond, the LGBTQ Coordinator, and she supported this initiative and offered to be there as a resource.
Genessis Galindo and Lionel Kirenga