This piece represents the opinion of the author: My_Opinion_Matters
Before you judge me, or shoot me one of those grimacing looks through your computer screen, let me first say this: I grew up on a cul-de-sac, I can run at a reasonably fast pace, and I’ve been to both Amsterdam and Copenhagen. I attended an outdoorsy summer camp for the majority of my life, and learned to live in and love nature. Exploring the outdoors has always been a passion of mine, and I, like most others, thoroughly enjoy a peaceful walk to class in the morning.
HOWEVER! When I walk along the paths of the College, my commute is RUINED by the constant bombardment of the swarms of bicyclists surrounding me, jeering at me, and then rushing away to get to class before me, subsequently making me late and diminishing my high class standing. This is not a new thing. And I know, I’m coming from a place of extreme privilege, because well, there are more important issues out there, but I simply cannot shake this feeling of being a second-class student.
Growing up in suburbia, I was always around bicycles. Block parties, play dates, shopping malls…I am no stranger to these devices! Yet at the College, where I am surrounded by them everyday, I cannot help but feel marginalized. In a ‘nondenominational’ college, why is it that over one-third of the student body rides a bicycle, and I am left to walk, feet touching the ground, literally below my fellow classmates?
The omnipresent bicyclists represent the overwhelming presence of privilege at the College. Why should you, who was raised by able parents, be able to exercise this skill in the wake of my incapabilities? Just because I cannot ride a bike, does not make me a lesser human, but honestly, that’s what it feels like. We live at a College where the paths are designed to favor bicyclists, where there are bike racks around every corner, and where never being late to class means more respect from a professor.
I’m not suggesting that the College should take a closer look at this issue, but I’m also not not suggesting it. When a student feels personally attacked because of his incapabilities, it should be considered a serious issue. I grew up being told ‘yes’ all the time, but the world is changing, and it’s time for us to say ‘no’.