Hoverboards banned from UWF campus

Claudia Carlson

Staff Writer

 

The latest trend amongst kids and students alike seems to be bringing conflict to college campuses and public places in general: hoverboards.

What exactly is a hoverboard, and why is there such a stigma around this seemingly harmless and fun toy? Well, first of all, the name “hoverboard” is actually deceiving: A hoverboard does not actually hover, but instead is a two-wheeled, self-balancing board that you ride by leaning one direction or another. Reports have been release about hoverboards blowing up while charging, or people falling off and seriously harming them.

Hoverboards were one of the most popular Christmas gifts of 2015, mainly for kids, but you see people of all ages riding them. You can even spot people riding them here on the UWF campus, “hovering” around from class to class.

You won’t see anyone hovering on the UWF campus anymore. An email from University News was sent to all UWF faculty, staff, and students on Friday, enacting a ban on hoverboards anywhere on campus effective immediately. This comes just days after an email was sent banning all hoverboards from residence halls.

The email from University News read, “Effective immediately, the possession, use, or storage of electronic equipment such as Hoverboards, Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers and any similar devices is prohibited anywhere on the University of West Florida Pensacola Campus, including in residence halls and apartments. This applies to all members of the campus community, and has been enacted to mitigate potential on-campus safety hazards.”

The email also mentioned other colleges and universities that have banned the use of such products on their campus as well. These universities include American University, Boston College, Vanderbilt University, Louisiana State University, University of Alabama, and the list goes on. Safety concerns and fire hazards are the main reasons cited for the bans on campuses across the country.

Students on campus have differing opinions on how hoverboards should be handled. Junior, Juliann Laird says she feels that if skateboards are allowed on campus, so should hoverboards. “I don’t know a lot about hoverboards, I think they’re cool, but childish. I don’t see the danger in hoverboards, but I think they should only be allowed to be used outside,”.

“I see people occasionally riding them on campus and it’s weird, but it looks hilarious and fun, so go for it dude,” Laird said.

Students and kids are not the only ones testing out hoverboards. Reality star and former Real Housewife of Beverly Hills, Brandi Glanville, was injured when she fell off a hoverboard, resulting in a hairline fracture and six stitches on her hand. The star captioned a photo of her injured arm: “Swollen paw 6 stiches I’m officially done with iWalk slash hover board.”

Sophomore, Conner Blake says he thinks that hoverboards are unnecessary on campus, especially with all the reports of people getting hurt and the devices blowing up. “There is no need for people to use hoverboards, or whatever they are called, on campus,” Blake said. “UWF’s campus is so easy to navigate and walk from class to class, use your two legs.”

“I think the University banning hoverboards in residence halls is a great first step. If one were to explode in a dorm room or a classroom, not only would you be putting students and faculty at risk, but there is also a chance the whole building would burn down. I just don’t think it’s wise to allow them on campus,” Blake said.

A much younger, hoverboard lover had an opinion on college students and their use of hoverboards on campus. Delaney Williams, 11, of Gulf Breeze, says she believes that hoverboards were made as a toy for kids, not for people to use to get around to class.

“Hoverboards are toys that are fun to ride around, but that’s all that they are, a toy. They can be dangerous if people don’t actually know how to ride it, which is why only kids should stick to using them,” Williams said.

What do you think about hoverboards being banned on the UWF campus? Tweet me your view: @claudcarlson.