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Friday, September 25, 2020

Con: Hoverboards on campus

From the day that Wiz Khalifa was tackled in the Los Angeles International Airport for riding one, these hover-less boards have rapidly flooded social media sites and have began to make its way from your friend’s snapchat story to college campuses.

They have been called everything from hoverboards to smart-scooters to hands-free segways. Hoverboards of any kind should not be allowed at Pierce College.

Hoverboards have only been available to the public for a short amount of time, so it is understandable why administration would not have created a rule for them in the general catalog.

“Roller-skates, in-line skates and skateboards are not permitted at any time on the campus,” as stated in the 2014-16 Pierce General Catalog.

Bicycles are allowed on campus but you must walk your bicycle on pedestrian sidewalks and mall walk-ways. If you are riding your bicycle on a street on campus, you are held to the same traffic rules as a public highway.

Hoverboards are not street-legal. In that case, they should be forced to abide by the same rules as skateboards and roller skates.

There are plenty of brands producing this product which causes the specifications to differ from machine to machine, so I will use the IO HAWK as an index.

The IO HAWK’s website says it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to become fully proficient on the machine, but people still make mistakes. You can search “hoverboard fails” on youtube to see what I mean.

The machine goes a little over 6 mph and weighs 22 pounds. This could be a danger to other students around the rider if it were to accidentally run over someone’s foot or run into someone.

The hoverboard is not a completely stable machine and you can also injure yourself while riding one. By shifting too much weight forward or backward you can cause the board to slip from under you resulting in potential harm to your body. This is a liability that Pierce College doesn’t need.

It was designed as an alternative to walking but that does not mean it should be allowed on campus. You shouldn’t have to worry about hoverboards running into you when you are walking to class cramming for your midterm. Let’s leave the boards at home and maybe try some power walking.

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