Whenever one thinks of MSU’s Tower Guard, whether they are familiar with the organization or not, they immediately think of Beaumont Tower. This iconic monument on campus represents the legacy that Tower Guard, one of the oldest student organizations on campus, takes pride in. Tower Guard members are the only students that hold the keys to Beaumont Tower, and Executive Board members conduct meetings within the Tower in the Tower Guard office on the second floor. Mandy Zuckerman, member of the Tower Guard class of 2020-2021, realized that for an organization that represents accessibility and inclusivity, the space in which they meet, Beaumont Tower, is not accessible itself. Mandy stated, “It struck me that making the Tower accessible was something that needed to happen to make sure that everyone could experience the rich history that the Tower holds behind its doors.”
Mandy’s idea of making Beaumont Tower accessible for all instantly took off, and she was able to develop a team of Tower Guard members who were dedicated to working on different aspects of the project. In the semester that the team worked together, they produced a thorough video tour of the Tower, which is published on YouTube for anyone to watch. This video, created and narrated by Nick Kimball, gives viewers a deeper understanding of the Tower’s history and significance at Michigan State University. The team also produced an 8-page description of Beaumont Tower. This description, written by Josie Smith, paints a picture of the Tower for someone who is visually impaired, highlighting everything from the area surrounding the outside of the Tower to the feel of the stone walls in the stairwell within. In addition to these accomplishments, the team is currently looking at ways to provide a virtual tour of the Tower for the viewer to click through at their own pace as well as a 3D printable representation of the Tower.
Liz Fuller, lead Tower Guard advisor, assisted Mandy in this groundbreaking project. She says, “I am so excited for this [past] year’s Tower Guard group to be spearheading an initiative to make Beaumont Tower, a historic landmark and notoriously inaccessible building, accessible to all! These efforts will have lasting impacts not only for Tower Guard and RCPD students, but for past, present, and future alumni as well as all visitors to MSU’s campus!”
Tower Guard will continue to host Tower Tours, most of which take place over Homecoming weekend, where the video tour, and the printed description in both plain text and braille formats will be available.
To view the video tour of Beaumont Tower, visit this link! Beaumont Tower Video Tour