I asked; Auburn delivered.
After my last column calling for change to the Auburn student section for disabled students, Auburn has acted. On Friday morning, Athletics announced several changes to The Jungle benefitting students with mobility-impairments attending basketball games in Auburn Arena.
Changes are listed in this morning's email to students from Auburn University Athletics. Adaptations are as follows:
- Accessible seating in The Jungle will now be reserved in a limited fashion for students with disabilities. Students in need of accommodations can contact the Office of Accessibility at 334-844-2096 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve those seats. The seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis for students who have reserved them.
- Students with disabilities also no longer have to wait in the long student line outside Auburn Arena. They will receive instructions on entrance upon reservation of the seats. All requests for attending the basketball games through the Office of Accessibility must be made by 12 p.m. the day before the game.
No more sitting in the cold, no more stampedes and no more spending hours of time in line just to lose your spot. Much-needed change has arrived on the Plains for the disabled community.
This change can be credited to not just me and my column, but the whole Auburn Family. Change came from all the people who read my column, shared the message on Instagram and Twitter and spread the word.
My column started the reaction, and the Auburn Family ran with it. They showed up in a bigger way than I imagined. As of publication, the original post received 69 retweets, 117 likes and six replies on Twitter, not to mention the likes and shares on other platforms. That is what brought about this change.
This is the power of journalism. It allowed me to stand up for what is right, be a voice for the disabled community and spur change for the better.
Auburn has taken a big step toward achieving inclusivity and mending what is broken in the student body.
Dear Auburn, thank you for listening and for responding. This means the world to me and the disabled community. Your hard work to make this change will impact us greatly.
To the Auburn student body, never doubt how much Auburn cares for you. Follow my example — if you see injustice, say something. Don’t let it go unnoticed. Change is achievable.
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