RUFFOLO: Marquette must improve accessibility on campus

Some+students+only+have+10+to+15+minutes+to+get+between+classes.+

Photo by Zach Bukowski

Some students only have 10 to 15 minutes to get between classes.

Despite being a large urban campus, Marquette University has failed to provide students with sufficient time to move from one class to another and offer ample transportation opportunities for students. 

In order to prioritize the well-being of students, Marquette must increase time between classes, expand the Marquette LIMO service to operate during the daytime or develop an intercampus shuttle and better plan for online and in-person classes. 

The Marquette campus sprawls across Milwaukee’s west side, with residence halls and academic buildings often separated between streets and traffic lights. When I discovered that Marquette only allotted 10 minutes between one class and the next, I was shocked. Without factoring in unfavorable weather conditions like snow or rain, it takes 20 minutes to get from the Marq at the far west side of campus to Straz Hall at the far east, according to Google Maps. 

Giving students 10 to 15 minutes to get from one class to another operates under the pretense that classes are let out exactly on time, which many times is not the case. Students are then forced to run from one building to the next, and often have to climb up flights of stairs to get to their next class. This is especially difficult to a student with a physical disability. 

In the summer, it is tiring. In the winter, it is dangerous, as students risk slipping on ice and injuring themselves if they are unable to take their time walking from one class to the next. 

Additionally, with below freezing temperatures being normal in the winter months, it is unfair and inconsiderate that students have to endure the cold in order to eat at a dining hall or go to class. 

For students who have to walk on main streets like Wisconsin Ave., 16th or Wells Streets, it becomes especially difficult to be punctual to classes as traffic lights divide each block. Sometimes it takes forever for cars to come to a complete stop, and students should not have to feel so pressed for time that they need to jaywalk between streets, which could cause serious injury.

Unlike many universities of similar size, like Loyola University Chicago, Marquette does not have an intercampus shuttle. The Marquette LIMO service only operates after 5 p.m., as it is meant as more of a safety feature than a transportation option. It often comes with long wait times. Additionally, if students want to take the Milwaukee County Transit System, their schedules may not line up with the bus schedule. A shuttle would relieve students of the stress of having to quickly walk from one building to the next.

The coronavirus pandemic prompting the move to a hybrid schedule has also caused difficulties for some students. Professors may decide to hold class online or in person without much notice, sometimes causing a direct conflict with a different class. Students have to hurry from an in-person class back to their residence hall in order to make their online meeting because they may not be able to find or feel comfortable using a study space on campus. In many cases, students are unable to adjust and may have to sacrifice one class for another. This adds unecessary chaos and stress to students’ lives at Marquette.

A transportation option that allows students to quickly get from one place on campus to the next is long overdue, especially at a school with tuition as high as Marquette’s. It is also time for Marquette to reassess the amount of time it gives students to move between classes and better plan for the mix of hybrid and in-person classes. 

This story was written by Lucia Ruffolo. She can be reached at lucia.ruffolo@marquette.edu.