Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Students with Disabilities Fight for Transportation in Fall 2013

The loss of trams running from Austin starting fall 2013 will leave students with disabilities without transportation.

The university decided to suspend all commuting trams outside of San Marcos for budgetary purposes. The loss of trams will only affect specific students and professors.

“I think the school was heading in the direction of cutting trams for commuters,” said senior Jordan Snyder. “At the rate this school is growing we are going to need more trams for local residents.”

While some students will not feel the immediate loss, there is still resistance and anger over the cuts. Students living with physical disabilities are gathering a case to present to Dr. Denise Trauth, president of the university.

The case is being led by Laura Chenault, president of the Non-Traditional Student Organization (NTSO). At 25 years old NTSO is Texas State’s oldest and most decorated organization.

NTSO member Franklin Phillips said that the organization is a place for social misfits of all ages, genders and orientations.

“Nearly all of our members take the bus from Austin so I knew that this would be an important issue for our disabled members,” said Chenault. “As president it is my job to do everything I can to represent and fight for these students.”

Chenault has already had a meeting with members of Auxiliary Services and is currently working with them to ensure that their members will be compensated next year.

“They are trying to accommodate and make it go as smoothly as possible,” said Chenault. “I don’t think that they are looking to make a profit, but it will be a real inconvenience for our students specifically.”

A meeting with Dr. Trauth and the board of Transportation Services is in the works and Chenault hopes to meet with them before the end of April.

“My biggest concern is that the university provides reasonable accommodation for our members,” said Chenault. "I believe they will do the right thing and have the best interests for our members."

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Photo Courtesy of: Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor of the University Star

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