An Interview with Alex Watters

As the Q&A session started, Alex Watters began pacing back and forth across the front of the classroom in his motorized wheelchair. A few questions in to the interview he noted the humor in the situation, “I always find it ironic that I’m paralyzed but I can’t sit still.”

Watters is a first year advisor at Morningside College, a position that he takes some amount of pride in. “I’m living the dream,” he said, “just not the dream I ever envisioned.”

He sought the position at Morningside in part because of how the school accommodated him after a diving accident that left him paralyzed during his Freshman year. He noted that, while many buildings were not accessible by wheelchair, when he returned the school relocated all his classes to the buildings that were.

Although he appreciates the position he currently has at the college, particularly the fact that it allows him to help students adjust to college and watch them overcome obstacles that he knows they struggle with, he doesn’t intend to be an advisor forever. He explained that he feels one of the best ways to be useful in an organization is to constantly evolve, and joked that before long he’ll be president of the college.

While perhaps not something he plans in the immediate future, Watters explained that he could see himself occupying the position someday. He believes that Morningside has a lot of improvements to make when it comes to accessibility. While he understands that budget can get in the way of many of these projects, he noted the example of an automatic door that leads to the Mustang Grill, which is only accessible by traversing two sets of stairs. He contrasted this with the fact that there is no automatic door at the Lincoln Center, which is frequently used for public events, and explained that it would surely save money and help the community a great deal to simply relocate the equipment to a more sensible location.

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