Students attending Arizona State University are criticizing the school’s “Walk Only” zones for their potential to offend disabled people on campus.
According to a petition started by Alec Melger on Change.org, ASU should consider changing the name of its Walk Only zones to “pedestrian only or any other inclusive title”.
“ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States and is a place of work, learning, and leisure to over 75,000 people on campus. Enforcing “Walk Only” zones onto campus property marginalizes disabled bodies who cannot walk. This petition is in effort to make a more blanket title for these zones that encompasses the diversity of all bodies who occupy the community that is ASU.”
61 people have signed their agreement in the two weeks since the petition launched, with one student noting, “This is necessary. Oppressive language is a microagression [sic] that needs to be addressed and is often forgotten about. Word choice is one of the easiest things to change and often one of the most powerful.”
Another added, “I was on crutches for 5 weeks and felt uncomfortable when seeing this sign.”
Posters have also appeared around campus, asking readers why the school should use “Walk Only” lingo when “not everyone at ASU can walk.”
Absent from the petition and posters, however, is mention of ASU’s policy on Walk Only zones, which bans wheeled vehicles including skateboards, scooters, and bicycles, but is “not intended to limit or redirect use of mobility devices by individuals with disabilities.”
In other words, Arizona State University views those in wheelchairs and those on foot as equals, a drastically different message than that of Melger’s, which seeks to make a clear distinction between the disabled and able-bodied.
Perhaps Melger was simply unaware of his microaggression, just as he was unaware that “pedestrian” is Latin for “going on foot.”
Or perhaps he just needs to fashion himself a spine and put on his big boy pants, because the harsh reality is that petitioning a University to change the name of its Walk Only zones over imaginary microaggressions is absolutely ridiculous. ASU makes clear that wheelchairs are not prohibited on campus walking paths, and is under no obligation to pander to children who have the art of self-victimization down to a science.
Universities and indeed, life itself, will not coddle the delicate feelings of those who believe themselves entitled to special treatment. Nobody cares what you’re offended by, nor should they. Many young people today have a Utopian vision for the world, noble on its surface but unrealistic as its core, and they allow it to dictate every aspect of their ideology. As a result, we see the scourge of safe spaces, restrictions on free speech, rampant anti-Semitism, and anti-development causes on campuses across the Western world.
Those who cannot handle even the slightest offense, real or imagined, have no place within the walls of academia.
Universities are for educating oneself and growing into a productive, adult member of society. If you’re looking for something more sympathetic to your feelings and accommodating of your microaggressions, kindergarten would be happy to accept your application.