Different Abilities, Same Humanity, Features

NMSU tries to make rec sports and events accessible to all

As school comes to an end at New Mexico State University, many must wait a few months before they pick up recreational sports and student events again for the next school year. Due to COVID and the lockdown, sports and recreation were put on hold up until everything was finally lifted and many people could go back to living normally.

New Mexico State University offers a vast variety of recreational sports and student life events, which brings up the question, how can those with different abilities join along? More specifically, what is offered for them so they do not feel left out?

Recreational sports and student life events at NMSU are in full swing again, but what is the university doing to make sure such activities are accessible to everyone? (Photo by Kayli Glascock/Kokopelli)

“The office of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs reviews the forms of all groups of events being hosted, but are not required to complete the event forms. We only have authority to require it of student organizations,” said Director of Student Life and Leadership Programs Sarah Edwards. “So, with that, one of the things we do in the event form that students fill out, there is a set of questions that prompt the event planner to think about, is this an event that anyone can participate in and what steps can we take to ensure that we have our event designed in a way so that people with different abilities would be able to engage?”

So, is New Mexico State University doing what it needs to do to let everyone know they can get involved.? It would appear the Student Involvement and Leadership Programs office makes sure everyone can be included in events.

“With big events, there is always an option that is either virtual or students who cannot be physically present or letter writing or making a video — some sort of creative option, that for people who have some physical limitations that will prevent them from doing trash pickup or some of the more traditional activities within those events, it still allows them to give back and contribute to the point of those events, which is to say thank you and be part of just making the community better,” Edwards said.

In an event hosted in April last year, the “Step It Up 5K” was a virtual run, meaning people could participate from anywhere. And that was the case for many after COVID restrictions did not allow them to be there in person. The event offered those a chance who could not be physically present to be part of the event and it did not have many limitations as far as who could be involved.

This is the case for physical events, too. By giving the form to the event planner, it helps them plan how to get those who have physical limitations involved. This lets those with different abilities know they can get involved in anything, and shows that the university is doing what it can to make sure there are no limitations for anybody.

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