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Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Hoverboards banned on-campus

Wofford College prohibits the use, possession or storage of Hoverboards, Segways or similar devices in all Wofford buildings.
Wofford College prohibits the use, possession or storage of Hoverboards, Segways or similar devices in all Wofford buildings.

By: Jonathan Franklin, Senior Writer

To ensure the safety of students, the College recently banned the use of Hoverboards on campus as stated in a recent campus-wide email sent out on Monday, Feb. 1.

“Members of the Campus Safety and Residence Life staffs have been reviewing the reported issues related to Hoverboards and their related products. We examined how other college and universities were addressing these issues as well as the recommended safety guidelines.

Reports disclose that the batteries in these devices may be dangerous and may have led to explosions and/or fire in multiple cases. Three major airlines have banned them from all flights due to fire hazards associated with the batteries.

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Effective immediately, Wofford College prohibits the use, possession or storage of Hoverboards, Segways or similar devices in all Wofford buildings. This includes, but is not limited to, residence halls, classroom buildings, administration buildings and indoor recreational facilities. If you have one of these devices, please remove it from campus.

The safety of everyone in the Wofford community is our priority. We will continue to monitor information provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission as they investigate reported concerns and work to develop safety standards.”

“I understand the banning of the Hoverboards on campus. There have been a few incidents around the country of them blowing up and I would really hate for a similar incident to happen on Wofford’s campus. However, the boards catching on fire are the cheap ones that have inexpensive material in the battery,” says senior Tanaé Copeland.

Students that are owners of Hoverboards and frequently ride them around campus were affected by this without any warning or a chance to remove them from campus before the start of the spring semester.

“It really did not affect me because my hometown is only 20 minutes away from campus. However, I thought it was extremely unfair to those who live further away or do not have access to transportation to leave their boards at home,” says Copeland.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Roberta Bigger explains why the ban was stated and the future of the decision regarding the ban.

“We started learning about the potential of fires that [the boards] have, particularly when they are not in use; when they are stored in a closet or elsewhere,” says Bigger. “Once the companies correct this problem, we can go about adjusting our policies regarding the boards.”

According to statement released from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission featured in the campus-wide email, while the fire hazard is a major concern bringing significant attention, the fall hazard is of great concern as well.

“CPSC has received dozens of reports of injuries from hospital ERs that we have contracts with, and they continue to feed us real-time data. Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries. Always wear a proper helmet and padding while using this product,” says Elliot Kaye, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Many student owners like Copeland are hoping for a speedy investigation surrounding the fires and are eager to ride them around campus once more.

“Luigi, my board, really misses the sidewalks and beautiful scenery of Wofford. I hope once the investigation is cleared, we are able to ride our Hoverboards around,” says Copeland.

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