Hoverboards now prohibited on Southern’s campus
Taylor Richards – News Writer
Southern administrators recently announced a university-wide ban on the popular hoverboard, a self-balancing scooter that trended in the second half of last year. In the past few months, there have been over 40 cases of explosions and fires across 19 states that have been linked to electrical faults in the toy, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The most recent case was a house fire in Santa Rosa, Calif. that started from a girl leaving her board plugged in and unattended. The fire killed the homeowner’s two dogs that were left home alone on Jan. 19.
Before the start of the spring semester, Southern administrators released an email stating: “Southern Connecticut State University joins many other universities in prohibiting the use, possession, and storage of all hoverboards, electronic skateboards and other electronic self-balancing boards / scooters on any part of the campus grounds, including university residence halls.”
The email cited the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s current investigation of the safety of hoverboards. The commission recommends owners to not leave the board charging unattended, to store it away from combustibles, and to not ride it near traffic.
As of Jan. 22, Amazon is offering full refunds to anyone who purchased a hoverboard through their website in an effort to reduce further hazards linked to the boards.
Freshman Joe Brochu said that he used to own a hoverboard but it broke within the first few days after a friend of his couldn’t get it calibrated.
“I understand why they’re banned in dorms,” said Brochul, “but I don’t know why they’re banned all over campus. If you spent the money on one you should be able to do what you want with it.”
Other students are happy that the boards are banned for safety reasons. “They’re a fire hazard. I wouldn’t want one of those combusting in the student center, that’s really dangerous to a lot of people,” said Katie Noske, sophomore. “Even if you wanted to avoid [hoverboards], you can’t even hear them. Some kids would stand on their hoverboards in line at Dunkin and make me nervous that they’d run into somebody.”
Many other schools and cities have already taken the effort to ban hoverboards. In November, the New York Police Department banned the boards since they pose a safety hazard on the city sidewalks and cannot be registered as a motor vehicle. They are also banned for public use entirely across the United Kingdom, according to the Telegraph.
Some students are happy they are banned just because they don’t understand the purpose of owning a hoverboard. Jovanna Mancini, sophomore, said that they “get in the way” and are “for lazy people.”
“I don’t understand why people pay hundreds of dollars for a board that doesn’t go faster than walking pace,” said Joi Vickers, sophomore. “I even saw one kid ride his hoverboard all the way to his seat last semester. I just think that looks tacky. If you’re not moving any faster, then just get the exercise of actually walking.”
Photo Credit: Soar Boards