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A heads-up would ease navigation frustration

By Ronny O'Leary Columnist

Last Friday, Hofstra hosted the final round of the 2013 Long Island Math Fair, a competition in which middle school students present research papers on math-related topics to a panel of judges. Hosting such events is a great way for the university to enhance its reputation among members of the Long Island community, but it is inconvenient for the students of Hofstra.

I have nothing against Hofstra hosting this event. It demonstrates the university’s commitment to academic diversity, and it is a great way to reach out to Long Island families. Middle school students have the opportunity to observe the campus, and some of them may even consider Hofstra when planning for college in a few years.

That being said, I do believe that the university should have made current students aware of the event beforehand, so that students could have planned their activities accordingly. For example, when I went to the Student Center on Friday evening, the event, by an unfortunate coincidence, had just ended. As a result, there were huge crowds in the building, and navigation was extremely difficult.

Navigation was made more difficult for me by the fact that I am visually impaired. If I had known what time this event was scheduled to end, I could have made different arrangements in order to avoid the crowds.

I have similar experiences when Hofstra hosts open house events. I have talked to sighted students, and they seem to share my views on this issue. This being the case, the university should post these events online ahead of time. Such a measure would be helpful for all students, especially those for whom navigation is slightly more difficult.

We should know when these events are set to begin and end. The announcement does not need to be its own email; maybe the Office of Student Leadership and Activities can mention it in its “This Week at Hofstra” email. The point is that we should be informed about these events so that we can avoid experiencing the stress of navigating large crowds.

In short, while I do support the university hosting these types of events, I believe that students should be notified of their occurrence beforehand. Many students may disregard the information, enduring the crowds for their own compelling reasons; however, the university should at least give us the chance to make navigation easier for ourselves.

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