Louisiana Tech University is moving towards a more inclusive and accessible location on the Ruston campus by installing new walkways.
Stacy Gilbert, dean of Student Services and Academic Support, said there was a yearly conversation about making campus walkways accessible to all students.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act is always part of the conversation, it’s critical to campus inclusivity,” said Gilbert. “Many students and alumni are faced with the challenge of a visible or invisible disability, and these projects can have a long-term positive effect on the entire time our students spend on campus.”
Students like Anna Claire Amidon stepped up the conversation about creating a more accessible and inclusive campus. She worked with Caroline Clifton, a Senator from the Louisiana Tech Student Government Association, to draft a resolution alerting faculty and administration to the need for accessible walkways.
“I think almost every student tripped on campus or noticed the large cracks and potholes in our sidewalks,” said Clifton. “By talking to students who use wheelchairs and who have a physical disability, I was able to see our campus in a new way.”
Amidon, a sophomore student majoring in accounting, said the new walkways mark the beginning of a more accessible campus and she looks forward to the future of the Louisiana Tech campus.
“The new ADA-approved walkways are a fantastic start to making Louisiana Tech accessible,” said Amidon. “Everyone will be able to use these sidewalks and it will be incredibly beneficial to the disabled community.”
Keeny Hall and Bogard Hall will be the focus of this project. The new sidewalks will be completed in six phases, which will be fully completed by the beginning of the fall quarter.
Accessibility and access to education are an integral part of every student’s experience, Gilbert said.
“There’s a daily conversation about how we can make our campus better for everyone,” said Gilbert. “Accessibility means respect. If we don’t have an accessible, integrative campus for all of our students, we’re not offering our students the best campus experience. “