Commentary: Injured students lack transportation

I recently injured my knee, tearing my ACL, MCL and medial meniscus last Thursday. I was at dance practice for Celebr(ASIAN), Northeastern’s first Asia Night, in the Curry Student Center (CSC). I jumped after a dance move, and while I was in the air, I heard my knee pop. When I landed, I was unable to put any weight on my right leg, nor flex or extend my right leg, because at the time, my knee cap was dislocated.

The emergency room doctor discharged me with crutches. The next day, I crutched from West Village to Hurtig Hall for class. After my classes it began to snow, so I made it to the CSC InfoDesk. I asked the workstudy behind the desk to call Northeastern’s Public Safety for assistance home. They told her they do not provide such services. She proceeded to call the Disability Resource Center and they also said they do not provide such services. So with no help from Northeastern, I attempted to crutch home. Right in front of Behrakis, my crutches slipped in the snow and all my weight was placed on my bad leg. It felt like my femur was going to rip through my skin. As a result, I’m now in a wheelchair.

So I ask, how can you help me and the handicapped/injured population of the student body?

Contrary to the Northeastern’s Public Safety Division website, Campus Safety is not concerned with the student body’s safety needs and will not do their utmost to ensure our well-being. The Personal Safety Escort Service is not providing any safety.

The Disability Resource Center (DRC)’s mission statement is to provide services that will enable students who qualify under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act to participate fully in the activities of the university. I understand formal enrollment in the program is necessary to get assistance from the DRC. However, even for those who are enrolled, the DRC does not have any transportation assistance services. I see a disparity in how the DRC arranges for accessible classrooms in accessible locations and how they think disabled students will physically arrive at that so-called accessible location.

There are many students on campus who get injured from sports or activities and besides the injury, the biggest worry is not “I hope I don’t fail my classes,” but instead, “How will I ever get to the class in order to pass it?”

In an e-mail, my resident director said, “Northeastern University does not provide transportation via shuttle or car service for students with disabilities or temporary injuries. If NUPD [Northeastern University Police Department] is not busy, they may be able to assist you, but it is not their function and thus it is not guaranteed. Another possibility may be to call a cab, but this could become pricey quite quickly.”

Where are my tuition dollars going? There is a problem in the system that needs to be changed. Northeastern should provide transportation assistance to the handicapped. We are students here too and cannot learn if we cannot attend class.

So I ask you, Student Government Association, Northeastern student body, staff and faculty, do you see a problem here and what will you do about it?

-Amanda Correa is a middler nursing major.

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