Skateboards, yes; hoverboards, no

Lyanne Rodriguez

UTSA’s policy on skateboards aims to promote the overall safety of students by preventing accidents on campus. Although skateboarders can collide with pedestrians and cars on campus, such incidents have been isolated, according to UTSA PD.

UTSA’s policy states that skateboards are prohibited on all campus property. According to Assistant Chief of UTSA Police Dan Peña, skateboarders can be stopped by campus officers and referred to the Student Conduct and Community Standards office where their sanction will be determined.

However, because many students are not complying with the current policy and accidents seem to be very rare, it may be best to just allow the use of skateboards on campus. After all, there are actually benefits to students using them.

For example, some students use their skateboards as transportation to get to UTSA from near-by apartments. These students indirectly contribute to having less crowded shuttles and provide less competition for other students trying to find a parking spot at UTSA. Skateboards also provide a quicker way to get to class and allow riders to enjoy a hobby. Skateboards really aren’t all that bad.
Still, skateboard use should be limited with rules for conduct. Skateboarders should be courteous to pedestrians and allow them enough space to walk comfortably. Skateboarders should also stay away from large crowds and should refrain from using skateboards inside buildings and facing a penalty if they do not comply.

How does UTSA’s policy on skateboards compare to UTSA’s policy on hoverboards?

Hoverboards are a new alternative to skateboards on U.S. college campuses that have become a very popular item in the past couple of months. However, hoverboards have caused unease with many consumers, and for good reasons — such as a hoverboard fire in a mall in Washington state and a house fire in Louisiana that was started by a hoverboard charging.

According to a Carnegie Mellon University researcher of material science and engineering, the fires and explosions are likely due to the quality of the lithium-ion batteries used to power hoverboards. Many of these batteries are mass-produced in China at a very low cost and are of low quality. These lithium-ion batteries prove to be especially dangerous when used to power hoverboards, which are a high impact toys that endure many halts and jolts.

Due to the dangers, there have been over 30 universities across the nation that has banned the use of hoverboards on their campuses. UTSA should follow their lead.

Currently, UTSA prohibits the use, storage and charging of hoverboards in and around the university’s housing complexes. Unfortunately, there is no official written policy on their use on campus grounds outside of student housing. In order to prevent the tragedies that have occurred, it’s important for UTSA to implement a hoverboard ban on all campus grounds and not just in student living areas. After all, there is a safer alternative to using a hoverboard. Why not just use a skateboard?

Hoverboards can be compared to skateboards in that they are both a means of short-distance transportation, but a key difference is that skateboards don’t suddenly combust while someone is riding them. Skateboards are certainly the better option for campus navigation when hoverboards undoubtedly pose a greater danger than skateboards do.

When it comes to short-distance, on-campus transportation, skateboards are a much better alternative than the hazardous fad that is the hoverboard.