Jacob Lawson, News Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
Though the Emory & Henry Inclusion and Dialogue (I.D.) Center was designed to be inclusive of everyone on campus, there’s one particular subset of students who remained excluded: students who use wheelchairs. Despite the attempts to be inclusive of all, certain architectural issues held back the I.D. center from being inclusive of everyone.
According to the Bristol Herald Courier, President Schrum said that even though the I.D. Center was already redesigned, it would not be completed until a ramp was constructed “so the center could fully welcome every person who wanted to use it.”
According to ehc.edu, the I.D. Center was opened on September 22, 2016 “as part of ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts.”
According to the Bristol Herald Courier, the I.D Center was built “after a number of students suggested there was not enough inclusion or dialogue on campus, some of them even going so far as to stage protests about inclusion practices on campus.”
Alana Simmons, Project Coordinator for the Office on Violence Against Women, works out of the the I.D. Center. Simmons said the renovations were made because “The
Inclusion & Dialogue Center wasn’t truly inclusive as the building was not ADA com- pliant” and that “It was essential to add a ramp/additional entrance so that the building is accessible to all persons.”
Simmons also mentioned that in addition to the new ramp going into the I.D. center, “The contractors poured concrete in front of the building to create a new sidewalk. That opens up the space of the building, which will make room for grounds improvement to make the space more inviting.”
Vice-president of Student Life and Student Success and Dean of Inclusion John Holloway attributed part of the reason for the renovations to student advocacy.
He said, “Students raised an issue with it last year, and there always a recognition that the work needed to be completed, and with student voices, it makes a difference.”
Student reaction to the new renovations in the I.D. Center have been positive. Junior Tatiana Boelen said about the I.D. Center renovations that “it’s nice they’re finally putting in a ramp and I can’t wait for them to start working on making all the buildings more accessible.” Junior Sam Page said that the renovations to the I.D. Center were “needed” and that the changes “finally makes the Inclusion and Dialogue Center inclusive.”