University Students Stage Sit-In Over Access Barriers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 14, 2006
KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN--Western Michigan University senior Milan Bird says he's had enough.
Enough with automatic doors that don't work. Enough with broken elevators. Enough with bathrooms that are too narrow for his wheelchair.
"It makes it really difficult, especially when I'm in class back to back. Do I hold it? Or do I wait to go home?" he told the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Bird said he has known of several other students with disabilities who have complained to WMU administration, but have seen few results when it comes to problems in older buildings.
"There were always four or five or six students at a time with disabilities with a lot of complaints," he told the Daily Herald. "The only place you can really complain to is disabled student resources, and it's OK because theyll fix your one problem, but we never see any of the bigger renovations take place."
So, Bird and several other students staged a 24-hour sit-in last Wednesday, led by Bird's fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta, at the center of the main campus.
"I think we did a good job as far as awareness-wise," Bird said after the sit-in.
"Honestly, it's just the beginning, that discourse between us and the administration and other organizations around town. We all have that common goal."
"Seeking full access for all; Students with disabilities rally against WMU barriers" (Kalamazoo Gazette)
"Disabled students sit-in to stand out" (Western Herald)