Xavier’s lack of x-ccessibility

By Christian Cullen, Guest Writer

Everyone who knows a psychology student has, at some point or another, made a joke about the walk to Elet Hall.

Centered ominously up the hill above Corcoran Field, Elet Hall is where most psychology classes (especially upper-level psychology classes) occur. As a psychology student, I have heard the jokes and made them myself. Whether you are running up those brutal stairs because you’re late to your lab class or when it’s 20 degrees out and you’re huffing and puffing through the last bit of the famed “Elet Walk”, it’s not an easy time.

Lost in all of these jokes is that for those with disabilities (or even temporary injuries that affect walking), it is incredibly difficult and nearly impossible to be a psychology major. While one can take the path by Dana Avenue and the Montessori School, it is still a long walk and arguably worse than taking the stairs. A potential counterargument would be that students could drive, but with high gas prices and often just as long of a walk to one’s car, this argument rings hollow.

Walking up the stairs is difficult enough, but I cannot imagine trying to do so with a disability or a boot on my leg. Effectively, psychology is an untenable major for  many on campus. Elet is not a lone example. If one lives in Towers C or D in Justice Hall, they either must go all the way around the building to get to the Smith side or go in by the Hoff Dining Commons and walk to the Tower. In other words, there is no ramp on the Smith side of Justice that faces the yard. Campus accessibility seems to be a burgeoning issue yet also one without direction from administration.  

The existence of the Xavier Store in the Village is undeniably great. However, the University seems to have forgotten about it until recently.

Most students (including myself) did not know of its existence until visiting a friend in the Village or hearing about it from someone who lived on that far-flung part of campus. While Hoff has recently advertised the Store more, there are areas to improve. Like Elet, it is possible to get to; that being said, it is difficult and overly time-consuming. First-years would have to go down to the Village, shop for their goods, then walk back. While that sounds simple, the walk to the Village would not be easy after a grocery trip. Meanwhile, Jersey Mike’s has been sitting in the Gallagher Student Center for months. It is infuriating to see the restaurant just take up useful space, especially when considering that there could easily have been a satellite version of the Store in that area. However one feels about their subs, Jersey Mike’s has not done anything but be a joke for Xavier students this year. We were close to the end of the fall semester when it opened. One cannot help but wonder what led to the decision to put a new restaurant in place of Fujisan while the Store wallows down in the Village. 

Anyone walking to R1 or R2 could not possibly miss the new gym for athletes that the University has been building. Whether it’s the construction noises waking up Kuhlman and Buenger students or the hill to R2 getting cut off for awhile last semester, its impact has already been felt to the common student. But it takes money to build these sorts of things, and I would want to know the price tag. Especially in the context of the issues raised earlier in the article, the allocation of our money seems to be favored towards the athletes and not to students in need. With a continuously growing campus, Xavier’s administration will be faced with many difficult decisions. I hope they make the financial decisions that work to make the campus experience better for all students, works to keep our tuition down and is equitable for all students. However, the construction of this new gym seems to indicate that the University is willing to spend for their athletes but not for the rest of us.