By Kristine Felva P. Licup
WHILE EVERYONE IS busy for the upcoming Founders Week celebration, the Buildings and Grounds Department is busy building ramps in different areas of the university.
The construction of ramps in the new Mass Communication building and Oriental Hall is now ongoing in compliance with the building code of the Philippines. This is also in accordance to the Accessibility Law of Batasang Pambansa to provide easier access for persons with disabilities (PWDs). PWD-friendly institution
Office of Information and Publications (OIP) Director Mark Raygan Garcia said that the university is doing its best to cater to the needs of students, especially the PWDs. “We want all our buildings to be PWD-friendly,” said Garcia.
Aside from building ramps, Garcia added that the university considers bending policies for the welfare of PWDs: “When PWDs need to be transported on a pedicab into the campus, we allow it. We relax certain policies at the university in favor particularly of persons with disabilities or senior citizens.” Silliman also offers free access to the university golf carts and other vehicles to PWDs and senior citizens
as short-distance transportation. All they have to do is coordinate with the admin. “[PWDs and senior citizens] can just go to the Public Assistance and Safety Office (PASO) or the Information Booth. Those offices can put them in touch with the concerned offices and we’ll do our best to ensure that they’re able to access the campus,” said Garcia. Old project Garcia also said this is not a new project of the university. In fact, the university has been doing this since Dr. Ben Malayang III took over the presidency.
“Gradually, we’d like all our buildings that have been on campus for many years, for decades already to be provided with access via ramp,”
said Garcia. He added that they make sure buildings that don’t have direct access via ramps are connected to others with ramps through bridges. Garcia added that the university is prioritizing buildings that are “high in terms of concentration of activities” and those that are
usually used as venues for events like lectures, conferences and symposia. Under maintenance review Garcia also clarified that the elevator found in Auseho Hall had been shut as it is still under maintenance review: “Years ago, the elevator was functional. Although the elevator was exclusive to PWDs and senior citizens and then, students had access to it. They vandalized the elevator; they toyed with the control
system. (…) Our colleagues at the Buildings and Grounds are assessing whether it is something that it is needed, whether it is something that is practical, in terms of restoring it and whether it’s something that can still be used.” Alongside other construction work While the building of ramps is ongoing, the university doesn’t stop its construction of other facilities. The construction of additional classrooms in the elementary department in anticipation of enrollment influx due to the K-12 reform is also ongoing. Garcia said that there is already a plan to concertize the road in front of Vernon Hall “for the convenience of our dormers” and “to provide better access to the new medical building”.