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The Daily Illini

Letter to the Editor: Out with the old, in with the unnecessary

By Joseph Grusy

For the entirety of the fall semester I have been commuting from Bloomington and parking in the lot by the Activities and Recreation Center. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I noticed where the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) building was.

I didn’t think much of it at the time. It seemed okay from the outside. It is quite far from the main campus, which speaks volumes of its accessibility. However, what I didn’t know, were all of the problems this building has. First of all, it’s too small to support the number of disabled students that currently attend the University. The building is able to accommodate 200 people, however, the current number of disabled students is at 1,298, nearly 4 percent of the entire University enrollment.

Secondly, an audit shows there is a deficiency of over $2 million at DRES mostly concerned with mechanical, electrical and plumbing. It should also be noted that DRES, in the 2017 fiscal year budget, requested $56 million; however, it’s rated as the eighth highest priority. Currently, the University is receiving funds from private donors, rather than the state, due to congress’ inability to come up with a budget.

I read a piece recently in The Daily Illini about a big project the University is going to undertake. Have our prayers been answered? Nope. A $248 million operation to renovate the Illini Union. How in Sam Hill do they plan to pay for it? Of course through student fees. This shows where the University’s true priorities lie. This is a blow to the reputation the University has of being a disabled-friendly University. The administration must step back and examine which direction they want the University to take. Flashy buildings, or quality of student’s lives.

Joseph is a sophomore in LAS. 

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