CU has hindered campus accessibility to ATMs for disabled students by not enforcing American Disability Association national guidelines for equal access, according to Alexis Smith, the director of diversity affairs for UCSU.
ADA guidelines, enforced by the US Department of Justice, recommend that ATMs be designed to provide equal access for all people.
“Our goal with this is that every single student on this campus regardless of disability be able to use an ATM,” said Smith, who is a senior news-editorial and psychology major.
In 1996, the ADA suggested that all ATMs be equipped with digitized audio read-through, standard headphone jacks to provide privacy, brail instructions and automatic deposit and ejection of all media, according to Smith.
To date, changes have yet to be implemented although contracts with US Bank and Elevations Credit Union have been renewed multiple times without the updates. Despite the marginal cost that banks are expected to incur by making the adequate updates, their lawyers have yet to provide feedback.
“We need to meet the standard and level that people expect,” said Dustin Farivar, a Tri-Executive and senior political science major, “and not something that is subpar.”
The suggested bill would be distributed to all cost centers, including Wardenburg Health center, the Recreational center and the UMC.
“The evolution of technology has really changed how the laws are applied,” said Michael Roseberry, the ADA representative for CU.
The issue warrants further communication between the deans and provost to discuss the implications of not having adequate accessibility for disabled students, according to Farivar.
According to Smith, the 2008-2009 school year has seen the heaviest influx of blind students admitted to CU, but she’s afraid it won’t last.
“The number will not continue to grow if CU is not accessible to all students,” Smith said.
Also on the agenda was a campus-wide smoking ban.
Members of the Tobacco Task Force has introduced a second reading of their bill which would ultimately ban cigarette smoking on campus or limit smokers to designated smoking areas.
A survey was conducted among CU students last year to get student opinion of tobacco use on campus. The survey conveyed a split in student opinion, however, since the survey was not scientifically conducted it was deemed statistically inaccurate.
“I would have a hard time supporting the resolution simply because it’s really a split on campus,” said Ryan Biehle, a Tri-Executive and a senior political science major. “Our students are split 50/50. I’m not saying we shouldn’t speak up, but I don’t know that I can support such a resolution.”
Opposition to the bill argues that passing the bill as is would be a breach of student’s civil liberties and would compromise safety and academic performance, as students would have to leave campus to smoke. A student vote was suggested.
“A better sampling on campus is necessary, especially with freshmen who are ultimately impacted,” said Dan Omasta, UCSU Vice President and a junior political science major.
The Environmental Justice Project Steering Committee has changed its name to the CU Assembly for Sustainability and Equity.
The CU Assembly for Sustainability and Equity describes themselves as an intersection between environmental degradation and social injustice. They have been working on projects such as their Computers to Youth Program which inherits used computers from CU, refurbishes them, and donates them to underprivileged students in the Denver area and energy efficiency projects.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writers Sara Kassabian and Sarah Ruebsamen at Sara.email@example.com and Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org.