First step is getting there

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The district’s website clearly states the first goal of the Alamo Colleges is “access”: “The Alamo Colleges provide a gateway to a quality higher education experience.”

Access, at its most basic, is the ability to get to a classroom, but for some, getting to the classroom is becoming a bigger challenge.

What does it say about the value this district places on this goal when an elevator between Gonzalez and McCreless halls is out of service and has been for more than five months?

What kind of message does it send when this district charges every one of its more than 50,000 students a $25 access fee — that’s in excess of $1.25 million — but a student has to lug her husband’s wheelchair up a flight of steps to get him to class?

It is not the students’ fault McCreless Hall flooded in May, so why are a select few being punished?

Making sure the elevators work and that wheelchair ramps aren’t too slick in rain is standard operating procedure, not a value-added perk and certainly not an expense requiring an extra fee.

When it’s wet, the aesthetically pleasing brick walkways become a slippery surface dangerous for everyone.

If district administrators and trustees can OK spending $1 million to train employees — who knows how much this will end up costing to train all students — in Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,’” they better be willing to pay for safety.

If this cult of effectiveness is so great, why are examples of ineffectiveness in this district’s leadership so pervasive?

The first two values of this district’s strategic plan are “students first” and “respect for all.”

If the Alamo Colleges fail to provide even one student equal access, it has failed.

“Respect for all” used to be called diversity, which reminds us we all have something to contribute. When access is denied, everyone loses an opportunity for learning and growth.

The district needs to address the accessibility issues that exist and anticipate obstacles destined to develop in the future.

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