Out of 12 elevators on Citrus College, only eight are running properly and are up to date with Department of Industrial Relation standards.
Most of the permits are required to be updated annually in the month of March.
Those who rely on wheelchairs or are impaired to walk are directly affected. Approximately 1400 Citrus College students are enrolled in the DSP&S program. This includes those who rely on wheel chairs, canes, arm and leg braces, crutches or struggle with anxiety.
“Roughly 25 students completely rely on our elevators to be properly working” said Emmy Madris, DSP&S Secretary. “We’ve had quite a few students stuck in elevators. And those that suffer from anxiety are primarily affected.”
“It’s a challenge. They already have a difficult life already with their disability. Any barrier just makes it that much harder” said Madris. “DSPS is definitely on their side in getting this to code and we will do anything to support that”
Nursing major, Heather Taylor, said this is a major problem that should not be taken lightly.
“As a student with physical limitations due to chronic health issues, not having elevator access is a major problem when taking the stairs isn’t always an option for me,” Taylor said.
Most of the general education course buildings are much larger to accommodate for the large volume of students that Citrus College admits. This includes the liberal arts, math, educational development and student service buildings that offer many of the required courses to complete general education. The higher stories of these buildings must be wheelchair accessible to follow CCR Title 8 §3001 (c) code/regulation.
The Visual Arts, the Visual Technology, and the shared elevator between the Technical Engineering and the Professional Center elevators all have expired permits from 2016.
The Hayden Library has a 15-year outstanding permit from Sept. 11, 2003.
“No elevator shall be operated without a valid, current permit issued by the division,” The CADIR website states. “No elevator shall be operated without a valid, current permit issued by the division.”
These four elevators are still active and functional for the student body.
Permits are issued yearly after the annual inspection has been successfully completed. The inspections allow a safety engineer certified by the department to review the activity and maintenance of the elevator to ensure that all safety orders are met and complied with.
“We have them serviced every year for fire alarms and go through the same company annually, Performance Elevators” said Steve Siegel, School Maintenance Technician, who was in dumbfounded about the issue.
Siegel strongly believes the permits are up to date, however he is unsure as to why the certifications are not being posted.
“Maybe the issue is that we stopped posting for vandalism issues” Siegel ponders. “But I know we have them”
“Thats pretty dangerous considering that the people who need the elevators most are the people who have been incapacitated in some way or another,” Vanessa Valin, communications major, said. “If something serious happened those people would be most endangered.”
Many students are not aware that the elevators they are riding have outstanding permits.
Speech professor and Chairman for the Facility Committee on Faculty Senate, John Fincher states that he is unaware of any expirations, but plans to bring it to attention during the physical resource committee meeting this Thursday, Oct 12. “I am unaware that any elevator on campus is operating in a less than safe manner” Fincher said. “Additionally while it may not be posted, that may be due to a bureaucratic snafu, and not some intent to avoid compliance.”
“I should start doing a better job at observing my surroundings and knowing what I’m getting myself into,” Valin said. “It never really occurred to me to consider that some places just aren’t on top of making sure everything is up to date and completely safe.”
Often times Citrus College has had “Out of Order” signs posted on the elevator doors due to required repair not being fulfilled.
Seigel said, in awe of the library’s outstanding permit from 2003, “I know the library elevator broke down a couple years ago and we had to fix and maintain that”
“Elevator access is not a privilege, it’s a necessity in order to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to their education,” Taylor said.