Hoping for Barrier-Free Campus
Hoping for Barrier-Free Campus
  • Reporter Park So-mang
  • 승인 2024.03.21 15:07
  • 댓글 0
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▲The Administration Building
▲The Administration Building

  Imagine breaking your leg. Not just one, but both. Will you be able to attend classes? With both legs disabled, simply coming out of the dormitory area would be a demanding task, perhaps even beyond one’s ability. POSTECH campus is built upon mountains and hills, and the majority of the buildings were constructed decades ago. Hence, the environment of the campus is – by default – not friendly for people to walk around and becomes a challenge for the minorities. 

  Around November of 2023, a post urging for a barrier-free administration building was uploaded to the Postech Lounge. The post pointed out that there is no elevator in the building, even though the building has three floors. While students rarely visit the administration building, the building has offices for different administrative departments, the President, and some professors. So, the building hosts the core members of the POSTECH administrative team. Yet, if any of the staff are disabled or injured, how would they come to work? And how would any physically disabled students visit the building?

  Student Affairs responded to this problem and explained that POSTECH is planning a campus environment improvement project, in which they are anticipating new buildings and remodeling. Installing an elevator in the administration building might be included in the project. 

  Changing such a problem overnight is impossible. Thus, small efforts should be made every day. POSTECH is gradually working on facilities that can be improved in the short term. In December 2023, our university supplemented facilities for people with disabilities in the student union building and Hogil Kim Memorial Hall. They installed a railing on the outside ramp, the braille block at the main entrance, vertical handles in the men’s and women’s restrooms, and urinary handles in the men’s restrooms. This year, the ongoing commitment extends to forthcoming improvements in the auditorium and Jigok Community Center.

  Yet, the journey toward a barrier-free campus extends beyond physical accommodations. Holistic support for disabled members of the university is paramount. As of March 1, 2017, our university has organized the Center for Students with Disabilities to support convenient facilities and learning for students with disabilities. Specifically, the center attempts to support students with disabilities by improving their learning environments, providing consulting and career support, enhancing living and welfare, and more. The Students Affairs is in charge of running the Center for Students with Disabilities while other departments such as Academic Information Resources, POSTECH Counseling Center, and Facilities Management are cooperating to help students with disabilities in many different ways. 

  As we move forward, let us remember that inclusivity is not just a goal to achieve but a continuous journey. Every step toward a barrier-free campus brings us closer to a future where diversity is acknowledged. Let us be the leaders in academics and, at the same time, gurus of social embracement; enriching the educational experience for all. By prioritizing accessibility and fostering a culture of support and understanding, POSTECH will pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow where every member of the community can thrive.