Senate voted to allocate $99,558 to new chairs and tables and replace tablet desks in classrooms across campus at Monday night’s SGA meeting.
Senator Amber Marie Nold, who gave the authorship speech at the meeting, said that she had a personal experience with the tablet desks.
“It just kind of hit home with me,” Nold said. “When I first came here in 2009, I was in a classroom where the chairs leaned way, way back, and it was horrible. I’ve been in a car wreck, so I have to sit at these tables.”
Nold said that she had to visit Disability Services to obtain a special chair to accommodate her. One of the rooms SGA will be replacing chairs in is Popplewell 102, a room that Nold said she has had a class in the past four semesters.
“I’m in there all the time; I know the challenges of that room,” Nold said. “I have to sit in that table in that cruddy chair, and it hurts my back. I want to help the other students.”
Disability Services Coordinator Michael Ritter attended the meeting and also helped SGA in regards to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
“That makes people like me very happy,” Ritter said. “We have a lot of different folks coming to campus, and what we don’t want to do is have classrooms that are not accessible for them and have to make special arrangements for them.”
SGA President Alison Norris said that the project will give students with disabilities a chance to sit in desks without special accommodations but that it will help all students as well.
“This affects everyone,” Norris said. “Everyone has to sit in desks in classes, and the fact is that the desks that we have right now they don’t look professional, they don’t look like a university’s—they’ve been here since the ’70s. I’ve heard all kinds of students from all walks of life complain about those desks.”
The money comes from SGA’s special project fund of $174,000. The fund will have approximately $70,000 after the chairs have been purchased. Norris said that there are current plans in the works to use the rest of the money by the end of the semester.
A large portion of the special projects fund is roll over funds from the previous administration. Norris and the senators wish to see as much of the special projects fund spent this year to avoid a roll over.
“It’s our job to listen to the students,” Norris said. “I thought it was about time to get those changed and do something that students will see and will affect them every day.”