By Kerri-lyn Traves, President
When I first came to the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), I was mixed with excitement and nerves, but from the very start, something stood out to me. I was placed into Stone Hall on the third floor. My father, having suffered from Polio, couldn’t come see my dorm room, or come and visit unless we met down in the parking lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love UMF and have had tremendous experiences here throughout my four years, but throughout those same four years, whenever I went to certain places, such as Merrill auditorium, or to Dearborn gymnasium, I took notice, wondering “Well, what if I had a broken leg?” or “What if I couldn’t walk?” Maybe I just noticed these things because I grew up with a father who faced hardships because he couldn’t climb stairs or step off a curb with ease.
Despite this, I applaud UMF’s efforts to help with these issues. In an email interview with President Foster, corresponded by Shelby Childs, she insured that “As renovations occur to buildings around campus we design doorways, switches, bathrooms and general entry and exit to ADA and other building and housing codes.”
This gave me some ease of mind for UMF’s future. I don’t want other students to have to live in a dorm that their parent(s) can’t come into. “Four of our buildings–Mallett, Purington, Stone and Lockwood Halls lack elevators and entry ramps,” said Foster. However, I have faith in President Foster and UMF that this will some day (soon, hopefully) not be true.
In the meantime however, am I disappointed from my experience when it comes to handicapped accessibility? Yes, but not enough to hold a grudge. I understand that things can sometimes be difficult to come by, even though I do really wish that these things had been taken care of sooner, rather than just being in the works.