Skateboarding policy met with opposition

Students respond to the continued ban of skateboards on campus.


Cherri Yoon/THE CHIMES

Kathryn Toombs, Writer

Campus Safety reaffirmed their enforcement of the ban of skateboards on campus following an incident on January 30th, causing dissatisfaction among students.

Following an accident in which a male skateboarder collided with a female pedestrian and fractured her ankle, an email was sent out from Campus Safety reinforcing the policy’s placement for the safety of students, both riders and pedestrians.

Auxiliary Services states on their Safety and Security page that skateboards and other skating devices are prohibited on campus due to the requirements of the University’s liability insurance, and that the use of any of these devices will result in a $25 fine.

Skateboarders who break the rule will first receive a warning, then a fine, said Campus Safety Chief John Ojeisekhoba.

“Usually what we do is stop them and find out if they know about the skateboard policy. If they say they don’t know, then we give them a warning. If they know [about the policy], then they get a ticket, or, if we run their name in the system and have made contact with them before, then they get a ticket,” Ojeisekhoba said.

Due to the most recent incident involving the collision of a skateboarder and a pedestrian, Ojeisekhoba said Campus Safety will be less tolerant of misdemeanors involving skateboards.

“We’re going to be firm, because now, we’ve sent that email to every student, so we expect most students to know. We sent out information to everybody, so everybody should know that skateboards are not allowed on campus,” Ojeisekhoba said.

Biola’s insurance policy requires Campus Safety to have security measures in place to protect students, one such security measure including the ban on skateboards, wrote Campus Safety Administrations Manager Justin Shelby in an email.

However, not all students understand the necessity of this policy. Eric Alman, sophomore accounting major, questioned the allowance of bicycles and not of skateboards.

“It still has wheels. You have the potential to hurt someone either way,” Alman said.

Senior kinesiology major Ben Rotz echoes Alman in his questioning of this policy, as he argues that skateboarding is far from the only hazard posed to students walking around campus.

“It’s frustrating, because they don’t mention that with bikes, or with people riding recklessly on their scooters. Even people walking and texting for that matter — people walk and run into each other constantly. Are you going to ban people from walking and texting?” Rotz said.

As to why bicycles are regarded as less dangerous than skateboards, Shelby said bicycles have the addition of handles and brakes, as well as a bike lane designed to keep both bicyclists and pedestrians safe.

Freshman nursing major Dominique Kaijser, though frustrated with the ban, sees the danger in skateboards on campus and understands the university’s ban due to insurance reasons.

“Personally, I think it’s kind of silly that it’s such a big hype about it — like I think it’s your own responsibility kind of thing. I guess it gets kind of into a broader issue of liability and suing, and then it gets into a broader issue of that being like the American culture to sue all the time.”

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