APRIL FOOLS: Piedmont to Add a Buggy to the Back of Caden’s Chair to Replace the Shuttle


Caden Nelms pulling Emma Marti in an Academy Sports and Outdoors wagon to test the safety for other students. #AcademySponsor PHOTO // MELISSA TINGLE

Emma Marti, Editor-in-Chief

In a new effort to cut costs at Piedmont, President James Mellichamp reached out to junior mass communications major Caden Nelms to see if he would be willing to let the school attach a cart to the back of his chair to transport students around campus. 

Nelms, an advocate for accessibility, was very excited about the opportunity to let other students experience what it is like to live the disabled life. 

“When President Mellichamp approached me about this idea, I was skeptical,” said Nelms. “The school isn’t very accessible, so I was confused when they asked me if I would be willing to help them with this project.”

Unfortunately, students will not be able to get into certain areas on campus, because there are locations that are inaccessible to Nelms. Wallace residence hall, the third floors of Swanson and Johnson residence halls, the Getman-Babcock residence hall basement and third floor, as well as the Swanson Center side of the bridge, are all inaccessible to Nelms, who is not allowed entry. 

In order for Nelms to reach those places he cannot normally get to, Campus Police is working with Nelms to construct a slingshot that Nelms’ chair can fit into. Once construction is over on the slingshot, experimental trials will begin to determine whether it is safe for Nelms to utilize the newest addition to Piedmont’s campus. 

“Dr. Melissa Tingle actually approached us with the idea to create a slingshot,” said Campus Police Chief Jim Andrews. “She seemed very excited to increase accessibility on campus, but I’m not sure if this is the best way to go about it.”

I had the opportunity to take a ride in Nelms’ buggy outside of the Swanson Center. After trying multiple techniques to ensure the safety of students, Nelms determined a beach cart from Academy Sports and Outdoors is the way to go.

Since Nelms is planning on using this Academy beach cart, The Rawr is hoping to get a sponsorship with Academy Sports and Outdoors. #AcademySponsor. 

After successful trials, Nelms feels as though he can attach multiple carts to the back of his chair, similar to a mother duck with her ducklings following behind. 

“When I had Emma in a cart and was pulling her around the parking lot of the Swanson Center, I thought it was too easy. I suggested we utilize the Academy sponsorship to see if they would give us more carts so I could drag multiple people at a time,” said Nelms. 

Keep your eyes peeled when around campus to see if you can catch Nelms’ fleet.

This story is part of The Roar’s annual, comprehensive April Fools coverage of Piedmont University.