Out of order elevator prompts struggle for disabled students and employees


The elevator in El Camino’s Arts and Behavioral Science Building, located at the southwest entrance, was out of order on the morning of Tuesday, April 4. Some people with disabilities and physical challenges had no way to get upstairs for class while others struggled. (Kim McGill | The Union)

The only elevator in El Camino’s Arts and Behavioral Science Building located at the southwest entrance was out of order on Tuesday, April 4.

The out-of-order notice was posted over the elevator’s call button and was just inches from a sign acknowledging the elevator’s use for students with physical disabilities and employees.

Nearly all art-related classes, labs and instructor offices are on the second and third floors and some people with disabilities and physical challenges had no way to get upstairs for their classes while others struggled.

“A photography student just had foot surgery and had a hard time climbing the stairs for class,” Digital Art Lab Supervisor Sam O’Neal said.

Jung Ferell, an art student at El Camino for 30 years, was out of breath as she entered the doors of the second floor having dragged her art supplies including oil paints, brushes, a large canvas, cleaning solutions and a portfolio case up two flights of stairs.

“I would not have been able to get upstairs… except a younger student helped me,” Ferell said. “If [the student] hadn’t helped, I couldn’t [have gotten upstairs].”

Another student with a limited ability to walk said he looked forward to the summer when the new art building will include more than one elevator.

The elevator’s permit states it is up to date.

Last month, a student was trapped inside one of the Humanities Building elevators that had an expired permit.

This is part of a developing story on campus elevators.


Editor’s Note: The Union added the name of a source that was previously unknown on April 6, 2023, at 1:21 p.m.