Brittany Davis – Special to The Southern News –
Taking sharp, frantic turns with her cell phone attached to her left hip and the wind blowing in her hair, Christie Colon zoomed by people on the way to her afternoon class on her new longboard.
“Why walk?” said Colon. “Coming from the commuter lots, I save so much time getting to class on my board.”
All throughout campus, students just like Colon are using different ways to travel across campus.
Colon said that using her longboard to travel on campus is like “surfing on a pavement.” She has been using a longboard for approximately a year. Although at times it can be hard with a backpack, she says by learning to distribute her weight evenly and avoiding deep slopes, it is a safe and effective way to get through campus.
Colon opted out on using a helmet simply because it doesn’t “look cool,” and she doesn’t feel it’s necessary to do so unless she is going down deeper slopes at a faster speed.
Colon also said by using shoes with a flat sole, it is easier to maintain a grip and control her board. She said she tries to avoid large crowds and has yet to have an accident on campus.
“One time I seen a boy jump off his board to avoid people,” said Colon, “and his board was so close to falling underneath someone’s feet.”
While students use means of transportation such as skateboards, longboards or rip boards to get across campus faster, Brendan Page uses his bicycle to save gas.
“I have a SUV,” said Page, “so gas can be very expensive, so I try to use my bike as often as I can.”
Page is a 29-year-old senior who uses his bicycle to come three miles away from his off-campus apartment in West Rock, New Haven for the past two years.
Page said that his ride takes approximately 20 minutes to get to campus, and the only downside is sometimes coming to class sweaty. He feels the more he uses his bicycle, the more money he saves.
Page said he was not looking forward to the harsher weather, but last year he rode his bicycle the entire semester without any problems.
“If it snows I don’t mind,” said Page, “as long as the snow is plowed.”
For students who do live on campus and use a bicycle to travel throughout the university, Donald Cross, a graduate student worker at the office of Residence Life, said Southern offers bicycle storage.
Cross said with a $40 deposit, students can store their bicycles in the West Campus garage and have access to the garage with their hoot loot. Their intention, according to Cross, is to offer safety from theft and protection from bad weather.
Southern, as of last year, has offered this option and according to Cross, not many students know about this so it has not been greatly taken advantage of. Students will receive their forty dollar deposit back if there haven’t been any problems with their usage.
Both Colon and Page have not run into any problems with school officials about using their bicycle or longboard on campus and recommend it for other students.