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Greek houses need to be brought up to code, and fast

Thanks to national accessibility laws, people confined to wheelchairs are able to get around with little or no assistance.

This allows those who may seem disadvantaged to keep their independence and their pride.

But lagging behind in wheelchair access are the University’s Greek houses.

According to an article in today’s BG News, Greek houses here were built before laws were put into place making it mandatory for all public buildings to be handicap accessible.

Because of that, many are still without ramps and other amenities.

So what is being done about this? Not much. While the University says they’re looking into it, we need to see action here.

University Hall, one of the original building at the University, has managed to comply with the laws, installing ramps and handicap accessible bathrooms in the nearly 100-year-old building.

The BG News wants to urge University officials to set a timetable for this renovation. We understand BG is currently undergoing the beginnings of a 10-year master plan, but in the meantime the lack of compliance is only hurting students.

Not only does this situation discriminate against potential Greek students who may want to live in their houses, but it also discriminates against anyone who visits the University.

Oh, thinking about joining a sorority? Want to see inside of one of our Greek houses? Great, let’s take a tour. But your mother in the wheelchair or your brother or your friend will have to stay outside. And if the potential student is the one at a disadvantage, well… maybe they should look at something other than Greek life to be involved in.

Now we’re not saying handicapped people can’t be Greek.

Many members of Greek life don’t live in Greek houses, but by not being able to even get in the building, handicapped students are barred from chapter meetings, gatherings and even just hanging out with Greek friends at the frat house.

This University has tried very hard to make itself open and attractive to students of all abilities, backgrounds and cultures. By not complying with accessibility laws, this University is sending a message that we don’t care that much about those students.

That’s not a message anyone wants to send. So please, BGSU, let’s get on the ball and get our Greek houses renovated and up to par with the rest of our campus.

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