Archive / The Highlander

Feb. 9, 2023 marked the fourth week since the Glen Mor I building elevator broke down. The elevator initially malfunctioned on Jan. 12 and repairs were made the next day. About 30 minutes later, the elevator broke down again. The office has sent students a total of eight emails regarding the broken elevator, all but one of them have been a copy and pasted message. Today we finally received an email regarding a timeline of when the elevator would be repaired. This estimation, however, includes two more weeks and excludes the amount of time needed to repair the elevator. 

Failing to repair the elevator in a timely manner shows negligence towards students with injuries or pre-existing health conditions. I live on the fifth floor, and this is a potential hazard if I were to have an accident. Students have had no accommodations to assist with the elevator breaking down, and we are expected to just put up with this issue. The housing office informed us to contact our RD and RA if we need any assistance, but it is unlikely that they would be willing or able to carry a whole human or wheelchair up the flights of stairs. I have witnessed several people trip and fall on the staircase carrying their loads of laundry or groceries. I have even seen instances of people breathing heavily due to asthma and complications after recovering from COVID-19. 

Housing is also failing to account for those who have injuries. My roommate recently had an accident with another electric scooter, on campus, in which they crashed and fell forcefully onto the concrete floor. They are embarrassed to ask for help and feel too weak to reach out to the office. I have since been assisting them up the five flights of stairs to prevent straining their knee which has been previously injured. Added strain would cause them to return to physical therapy. It is difficult to tell whether the school would pay for their medical bill if there is an accident with the staircase. UCR is inconsiderate of the potential risk factors that exacerbate the situation from outside of the apartment.

Overall, the office is not communicating with students in the building in a professional manner. An email update was sent on Feb. 6, but this was the same information we had already heard through the apartment Discord server about a week prior. That update should have been sent as an email first instead of being later used as a filler for us. We have been repeatedly asked to wait and been given false hope as to when the elevator will be fixed. This is unacceptable to all students who are paying tuition and rent for housing as UCR does not seem willing to spend their money and resources to fix one elevator. 

The presence of ableism is disguised in this incident. The major issue here is that not everyone who is disabled can be labeled as “disabled.” The Social Security Administration, SSA, only assists the disabled depending on their earnings and those who are “insured” under the Title II Social Security Act. Those who have asthma are considered disabled under the ADA, but they are still not provided the accommodations needed to go up these stairs every day. This situation should not be taken lightly. There are many students who chose this specific housing for the elevators and accessibility. Even if we are able bodied we should not have to climb up the stairs everyday knowing that we pay rent for this housing. 

This situation should be considered an emergency. Rather, this incident is something that can wait for over 6 weeks. It is upsetting to know that the disabled and injured students are on the bottom of the school’s priority. UCR is a university that praises diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility, but does not consider this as a priority.