One size doesn’t fit all: Desks in Morgan Hall raise concerns for students


Aja Carter

Students raise concerns over the small desks in Morgan Hall. The diversity and inclusion office stated the desks will not be considered for replacement until they are worn out.

Starting the semester, some students are rethinking both diversity and inclusion on campus as well as the faculty’s role in ensuring everyone’s well-being. The diversity and inclusion office on campus seeks to provide a space that is inclusive for all, as stated on their website. However, some people have had issues in this area.

Most of Morgan Hall’s classroom desks, according to the students, are uncomfortable and don’t accommodate various body types and physical abilities. The desks are compact and slender. They also have a small, fixed desk top, which makes it challenging to manage both textbooks and laptops at once.

This is not the first time students have pointed out a lack of accommodations.

Daija Coleman, a recent graduate of the Washburn education department, used her capstone project to raise awareness for those with physical disabilities on campus. Coleman concentrated on raising awareness of accessibility issues, particularly within the education department, in order to ensure that the campus was accessible for all students. She hoped that her efforts would not go unnoticed even after she graduated. Classes that were not wheelchair accessible in Carnegie Hall were moved to the Living Learning Center’s Blair Room thanks to her efforts.

The diversity and inclusion office at Washburn University is engaged with this issue.

“Students come in all shapes and sizes and we should have furniture to accommodate all,” said Dempsey-Swopes, director of diversity and inclusion.

Dempsey has raised this issue with the building coordinator and was told that furniture wouldn’t be considered for replacement until it wore out.

According to Dempsey-Swopes statement, currently the university has no plans to remove the kindergarten sized furniture out and replace it with furniture that is more fitting for all students.

Josie Devine, a senior in family and human services, spoke on her experiences with the classrooms and desks on campus.

“The classrooms are really small. There have been times where I had to sit at what wasn’t a real desk, there have also been times where I’ve had to back into a classroom because that was the only way I was going to be able to get in,” Devine said. “Some of my upper division level courses aren’t that full. I feel like less desks, or the consideration of a different class layout would be the most helpful.”

Moving forward, students are expecting faculty to reconsider their classrooms, desks and implement changes that will include all individuals.


Edited by Aja Carter, LeSha’ Davis and Glorianna Noland