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Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 7 

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Be courteous. Take the stairs

Wendy M. Miller

I am a transfer from the University of Kentucky, and I require the use of a wheelchair. UH has met (and surpassed) expectations in many respects. In a year, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, the Center for Students with Disabilities, handicapped parking and understanding instructors have eased an otherwise impossible transition. I am now a senior and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy (Lord willing).

UK, however, has two attributes that UH lacks. The first is a "Repeat" option. One could retake a course (with a limit of three total repeats) and wipe the slate clean of three GPA-destroying grades. This policy is, in my book, a good thing. It is a win-win situation. The student does not have to carry the weight of a bad grade his or her entire college career, and the University receives re-payment for up to nine hours. Nine hours is three short of <I>another<P> semester of tuition and other expenses paid to UH. Why does UH not have a repeat option where the previous grades will be dropped?

The other missing element is just a simple sign. It is a small sign that held a big message. It is found by every set of elevators on campus, and it eloquently reads: Unless required by medical reasons, please do <I>not<P> use elevator for only one or two floors.

Unfortunately, steps are Mount Everest at this point in my life. If I am miraculously able to walk tomorrow, I would gladly sprint up two 10 20 flights of steps. Until that glorious day arrives, I am elevator-dependent.

This dependency is making me late for most of my classes. I believe this is true from a logical perspective. 1.) It takes many precious minutes between back-to-back classes to get an elevator in Agnes Arnold Hall, PGH or Science and Research. 2.) Elevators seem to run slowly when overworked. 3.) Too many apparently healthy individuals are filling the elevators to go up (or down) only one or two floors.

4.) I am late once again.

So where does fault lie? Is it my fault that I am forced to take required classes in order to graduate that are only offered in one section every other semester? Is the slow elevator to blame for not eating spinach? Is it the emphasis placed on nonphysical activity (watching TV, etc.) as opposed to physical ones like walking? Has the University failed elevator-dependent students with the absence of a polite reminder sign by every elevator?

Does the fault lie with you -- the healthy, self-mobile individual? Have you ever used an elevator to go up (or down) only one or two floors merely because you saw the elevator before you saw the steps?

Well, do a courteous deed today and skip the elevator, if possible. Even better, make it your new-semester resolution not to use the elevator for just one or two floors. Imagine how good you will feel both physically and spiritually.

So give the bogged-down elevators a break and (please) help me get to class on time at least once this semester.

Miller, a senior philosophy major, can 
be reached at knightsdream@hotmail.com.

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