Student Empowerment Network (SEN) has 50 students participate in an event to promote awareness for wheel chair accessibility on Creighton’s campus.
Have you ever navigated your way through Creighton’s campus in a wheel chair? On October 29th, 2008 over 50 students had the opportunity to experience wheeling through campus rather than walking. The Student Empowerment Network (also known as SEN) is a student group on campus that advocates and promotes awareness of individuals with disabilities. SEN organized an event open to campus students to increase this awareness. It was a scavenger hunt, in which students in teams of 4, were given a wheel chair and asked to navigate to five locations and finish in the Harper Center. The goal was to complete the scavenger hunt the fastest. Each of the designated locations required either finding the wheel chair assessable entrance, locating a ramp, or even calling public safety to activate the wheel chair lift. As one could imagine, some of these tasks were difficult, and many of the students were not previously aware of these not so easily assessable areas. This inaugural event was a huge success for SEN and disability advocacy. Katharine Wadas, student activities assistant director, commented that it was not about winning, or being able to go the fastest, but in the end it is being able to realize the difficulties that an individual in a wheel chair may experience each day. A few other comments included: explaining that in one building a wheel chair lift exists however the key to use the lift is located at the bottom of the stairs! Simply getting to where you need to be day to day will take longer, as many of the wheel chair assessable entrances are not in the most convenient locations. The participants were able to leave with a new found awareness for individuals with disabilities, and were able to have some fun while doing it.
SEN is currently organized by five occupational therapy students, yet it is hoping to expand to other health professions and the undergraduates at Creighton. To get more information about SEN please visit our website at www.creighton.edu/studentempowerment/index.php.