Watch out for pedestrians! Breaking down the rules regarding skateboards

We’ve all seen it: someone on a bicycle going seemingly too fast down a hill around campus, a group of people doing tricks on skateboards around the Catafount, someone on a scooter going to class. One of these is illegal to have on campus. 

Article IX of WCU’s legislation states that “The use of skateboards, roller blades, or roller skates upon the streets and sidewalks of campus is prohibited.” 

 The rule is under parking operations’ jurisdiction. Although the name on the $50 ticket is parking, campus police have been enforcing it. After three tickets, you become a habitual offender, the consequences of which are the same as any other traffic violation. These include revocation of parking privileges. 

The main difference between mopeds, scooters, bicycles, and skateboards and roller skates is that the first three all have brakes that help control it, skateboards and roller stakes do not. It is for this reason bicycles, scooters, and mopeds are allowed on the streets of campus – not the sidewalk.  

Many students disagree with this, and some have taken action to overturn the rule and allow skateboards, longboards, and roller skates on the sidewalks.  

Senior Amy Lara started a petition in October 2020, and in Spring 2021 Lara and a group of friends brought the petition, which currently has 1,707 signatures, and legislation change to the Student Government Association (SGA). The legislation passed through SGA, which is currently working with Lara to negotiate to get the support of UPD before going to the Board of Trustees. “There’s not much we can do before we get the police department’s support because without it, the Board of Trustees will tell us no,” Lara said.