Is Skateboarding a Campus Security Concern: A Student Perspective

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As incoming students are getting ready to leave for college, they check and re-check their supply list in order to make sure that they have their shower caddies, TV’s, hot pockets, and…skateboards? While the other items are good to go, skateboarders find themselves in an awkward position when they realize that skateboarding on campus at Frostburg State University (FSU) is banned.

A statement released by the university (see photo below) states, “Skateboarding is not permitted on the campus of Frostburg State University.” However, if you are a new student looking to bring your childhood scooter, or a local kid in grade school looking for a location to try out your BMX bike, then FSU welcomes you. The university’s brief statement cites “concern for the safety of individuals” as reasoning for this ban. The new policy came from the FSU’s Executive Committee. The implementation of this new policy brings up the question of whether this action truly improves the safety of the students.

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In the name of safety, university officials can find themselves in the authority to make many policy changes for the campus. But where is the line drawn, when can the university decide what is “good” for safety and what is simply a risk that students take when coming here? For example, riding bikes around campus, as well as scooters, can cause harm to those who use them and to those around them. Some who skate find the policy unfair, like Joe Ogan, who stated, “There are kids who ride their sport bikes right in front of the library where people walk. Yet nothing is said to them.”

Locally there is not a skate park students can get to. The closest one is in McHenry, Md., and there is also one Virginia and another in Pennsylvania. Many college students don’t have the ability to go far from school just to skate.

To reverse this policy, minor efforts have been put forth by students. Online, a petition was started to allow skateboarding on-campus. However, out of the needed 500 signatures there are only 14. While university organizations do there best to provide students with recreational activities, skateboarding isn’t something that is easily replaceable.

Joe Ogan is now a senior, and he came to Frostburg as a freshman. When he first started here, he states that he was often pulled over by campus police for skateboarding, but now he says that he hardly ever gets pulled over: “I still get pulled over when I’m coming from Edgewood and places like that. It’s like they know me now and know that I’m not going to hurt myself so they let me do me.” Lately, less people can be seen skating on campus, but the people that do so continue skate, and they go unharmed. In the future, Frostburg could possibly hope to see a future with skateboarding permitted.

 

Written by Moriah O’Neal and Dynia Walker

 

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