Elevator under construction in the Arts and Administration Building.

On May 30, 2022, Memorial University Professor Sonja Boon took to Twitter to express concern with the elevators out of service in the Arts and Administration Building. She states, “Once again there is no elevator access in the Arts/Admin building on campus. This is a basic accessibility issue that’s been a problem – off and on, with increasing regularity – for years now, and asking folks “to speak w/ supervisor, prof or Blundon Centre” is not a solution.”

Rhea Rollman responds “Seriously there’s *two* elevators in that building and it’s ridiculous they’re both repeatedly out of service. Like, what is wrong?? There were also three separate spates of major construction work in the atrium last year, purportedly to fix elevator problems. Yet still here we are!”

Robin Whitaker states, “People who would never have needed an accommodation are now being forced to seek one. The door buttons in my building – Queen’s College – are also routinely switched off. One works, the next does not. At least we have a working elevator – if people can get to it.”

Sonja Boon responds “Ugh. Noticed last week that the map of the Science Building (outside the lecture theatre) lists loads of accessible washrooms. Many have an accessible stall, but how are folks supposed to get into and out of the rooms they’re in if there are no door buttons?”

Katie Crane states “No one else has to speak with their profs to get around campus. I know that elevators require maintenance and ours are likely old, but it’s about accessibility and basic dignity to be able to use the university you pay for without having barriers constantly thrown up at you.”

Boon states, “It’s a human rights issue. I appreciate that every now and then an elevator will need repair, but those elevators are so regularly out of service that it’s beyond ridiculous.”

Mark D. Berry states, “It was a monthly if not weekly issue in the old science building. Elevator repair van was (still is?) a permanent fixture in lot 16.”

Boon responds, “the only ‘positive’ is that there are three elevators in the science building, and usually one of them was available, although I do remember a couple of times when ALL 3 were out.”

Sarah M. Gordon states “The one in the Education building was down for weeks at the end of term, and still when I was last in there. I’ve been working from home for awhile so not sure if it’s fixed. It’s unacceptable.”

Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.


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