Evacuation chairs, lightweight alternatives to wheelchairs that can make it easier for disabled people to evacuate during emergencies, were placed in Brotman Hall near Disabled Student Services last week after the passing of an Associated Students Inc. Senate resolution.
The resolution called for an implementation in current campus emergency procedures.
According to Sen. Marc Rizk, co-author of the senate resolution, the three chairs cost a few thousand dollars and were paid for by the department of finance and administration as well as the department of physical planning and management.
Brotman Hall was chosen for the first installment of chairs because, as Rizk noted, disabled students are usually around the administrative building.
Rizk also pointed out that the chairs are not only for use by disabled students. Disabled faculty and staff as well as non-disabled students, who may be in need of assistance during an emergency, will benefit from the chairs.
“We have had plans to bring the chairs on campus since last year,” Rizk said. “Last semester [fall 2010] the plan was already being set to go for this semester [spring 2011], the fact that the unfortunate tragedies of what happened in both New Zealand and Japan is a sobering reminder that we’re not just an institution of higher learning but also members of the state of California.”
“We need to be more prepared in case of a disaster and now that we have these chairs we are a little bit more prepared,” he added.
Rizk believes that evacuation chairs should be implemented in any building with stairs, however, it is unclear if this will take place.
The resolution to supply evacuation chairs was originally co-authored by former Sen. Colleen Adame and current senator, Rizk. But because she had resigned from her position in the senate, the resolution passed on April 6 without Adame’s sponsorship.