UMass Boston has recently installed a new feature on their website called Here4U. This feature helps students with any issues on campus when they don’t know where to go for assistance or to submit ideas and make changes. Although the feature is new, students have gotten results quickly with this change on the website. If you want proof that Here4U is a success, let’s go to a student who had a great experience with this feature.
Crisvely Soto Martinez had transferred from Bunker Hill Community College to UMass Boston and is currently majoring in psychology on a pre-med track. She plans to focus on child care psychology in the future. As a junior at UMass Boston, she was on her way through the Campus Center to get to class. She saw an advertisement that promoted Here4U as a way to make positive changes in the community.
Crisvely was running late to class when she noticed that a disabled person was waiting to use the elevator on the first floor of the Campus Center to go up. What happened upset her a lot; she saw that no one was kind enough to move out of the way for the disabled person in order for them to use the elevator to go upstairs. To her, this was wrong and she felt that something needed to be done about this. Crisvely feels that people with disabilities should be given more respect than what they’re getting. “Human kindness is dependent on social construct when it shouldn’t be,” Crisevely stated when addressing the incident.
Soon after the issue had occurred, Crisvely looked up how to make changes to the UMass Boston campus and this is where she got redirected to the Here4U feature on the UMass Boston website. Once she clicked on the Here4U link, she submitted a complaint request to the administrators of UMass Boston at around 11 a.m. She received a reply at 5 p.m. from Shawn DeVeau, Associate Dean of Students. Shawn forwarded the email to Geoff Combs, the Executive Director of Campus Center, and Geoff followed suit. Even though Crisvely didn’t get a chance to speak to Geoff Combs, the impact of her complaint will be felt throughout campus. Shawn spoke to her again on Oct. 18 and told Crisvely that there's going to be signs put up around campus reminding people to make way for those with disabilities.
Currently, the administrators are reviewing the poster designs that Crisvely sent in. She feels that the posters are great since it follows in suit with the Americans with Disabilities act that ensures that people with disabilities have access to elevators, among other things. She mentioned how the U.S. is the only nation that has a law in which the elevator has to wait a certain amount of time for disabled people to get on, thus avoiding the function of the forced close button. From this, we can see how Here4U has brought quick results with the UMass Boston community and we can infer that good things are soon to come. The only criticism that Crisvely has with Here4U is that there should be even more resources on the website so they can be helpful for anyone, even if you do not use it daily.
Crisvely wanted to leave us with a lasting quote to remember: “kindness is free, you don’t need to be super to be a hero.”
As students of UMass Boston, you have a responsibility to be kind to people of different diverse backgrounds. If you feel that something isn’t being done and you don’t know where to go or one of the offices can’t seem to help you, then try Here4U. As noted, it’s in the name: Here4U, is here for you, meaning that this feature can help you find solutions and make changes on campus without having to wait in a long line.