The mulch-covered strip of
land between the Lincoln Residence Hall patio and the west entrance of
University Hall is about to receive a facelift.
Dave Barrows, director of physical planning and operations, said that
several brick pavers will be installed in place of the mulch as soon as
weather conditions become more favorable. The pavers, he said, will be
set at the same level as the surrounding concrete and should create a
smooth walking surface.
Several brick pavers will be installed instead of the mulch to connect
Lincoln Residence Hall and University Hall
The new surface would be smooth
enough to allow wheelchair users to travel directly from the accessible
entrance on the east side of the LRH lobby to the west UHB entrance, which
is also accessible. The strip of mulch prevents wheelchair-users from
taking the direct path between the two buildings that other individuals
Building service worker Darrell Turner said that he began pushing for
a sidewalk in what is now the mulch-covered strip of land shortly after
UHB opened last fall. The strip of land, which was covered only in dirt
during the fall semester, limits LRH’s wheelchair accessibility
and adds to the amount of mud being tracked into the dorm, he said.
Turner said that he approached building service supervisor Dale Abeln
last fall to request a sidewalk, and he was told that stepping-stones
would be put in along the strip of land. According to Turner, stepping-stones
would not be adequate for wheelchair-users and would be only somewhat
helpful in reducing the amount of mud being tracked into LRH.
Barrows did not describe the brick pavers being used for the project as
stepping-stones, but as a set of large bricks separated by sand on a rock
base. The pavers would create a continuous surface that would allow wheelchair-users
to travel directly from the LRH patio to the sidewalk leading to UHB,
Instead of installing stepping-stones, brick pavers or a sidewalk, university
workers added mulch to the strip of land during winter break. Brad Ward,
a resident assistant in LRH, said that the problem of students tracking
mud into the building has actually become worse since the mulch was put
The mud beneath the mulch also creates a safety issue, Turner said. With
shoes that become muddy after walking through the mulch, students are
more likely to slip on the concrete patio when it is snowy and icy, he
According to Turner, a sidewalk or a comparable level surface would cut
the travel distance to UBH in half for wheelchair-users. Ward said that
one wheelchair-user in LRH uses the dorm’s main entrance when leaving
for UHB or elsewhere, which takes a lot longer than it would to use the
accessible entrance at the east side of the lobby. The longer travel times
are particularly uncomfortable for this individual on days that are cold,
windy and snowy, according to Ward.
Turner said he understands that it takes time to complete construction
projects, but it shouldn’t take as long as it has to serve the students
by pouring concrete for a sidewalk to or adding some stepping-stones.
“If it weren’t for the students, we wouldn’t have a
job,” Turner said. “That’s the bottom line right there.
And, the students come first. And definitely, if you don’t take
care of the students, they’re going to go somewhere else.”
According to Barrows, the mulch was added as a temporary measure designed
to reduce the amount of mud being tracked into LRH until the brick pavers
can be put in place. He said that crews are waiting for the frost in the
ground to thaw before installing the pavers because the ground may not
settle properly if the work is done while the ground is still frosted.
Springfield Collegiate Career Fair
Janee Mitchell - Feature Writer
for a job or internship got a handle on the job market at the Springfield
Collegiate Career Fair, held Feb. 25 on the lower level of the concourse.
Environmental studies grad student Darien Siddal said he attended the
career fair “to get my resume out there,” and he also said
he hoped to find a job in land use planning, environmental planning or
work as a protection specialist.
Although there were no on the spot interviews, students were placed in
a meet and greet setting with their prospective employers and afforded
the chance to make lasting and memorable impressions. As many seniors,
grad students and internship seekers are making their way into the workforce
the influx of people was foreseeable.
Over 100 companies were listed as participants in the career fair with
employment opportunities ranging from sales consultants at Avon to the
Illinois Air National Guard, Inspector Generals Office, Walgreen Company,
Children’s Home and temporary places of employment like Manpower
and Kelly Services.
Dawn Hohmann, employment coordinator at the Children’s Home, said
they were “looking for a candidate with a bachelor’s degree
and previous experience from volunteer work or internships.” The
Children’s Home is a regular participant of the career fair. Hohmann
recounts their 4-year relationship with the career fair and estimates
that they have chosen at least five students.