Posted to: Shari Shuman, VP of A&F / Thomas Serwatka, VP & COS to the President
“In the past two years, the number of skateboarders on campus has increased exponentially. Besides ignoring the signs currently posted on campus, they race through crowds of people even through the walkways that are only 2-4 feet wide. Recently at FSCJ, a pregnant woman was struck by a skateboarder and almost lost her baby.
It has gotten to the point that every day that I walk to class, I am in fear. As this is my workplace, I do not feel that I should be subjected to this type of risk. I also have students who have had boards fly at their shins, and in a quick poll, half the students in my large lecture agree that skateboarders are an issue.
Given that they pose a workplace hazard to faculty and staff as well as posing a huge liability for the university, what can be done to curtail skateboard use on campus? Like cars, are there strips that can be laid in parts of campus to make the boarders pick up their boards and walk at certain places?”
Written response from John E. Dean, Chief of Police:
Every week UPD conducts deployments (officers assigned for a specific purpose) in reference to skateboards and bicycles in the crosswalks and the core campus area. In addition to the deployments, the officers assigned to the core are required to monitor and enforce bicycle and skateboard violations daily. At the beginning of each fall term we (in conjunction with Healthy Osprey) conduct a threefold education and enforcement program. In the first phase officer’s hand out educational material to violators for a specified time period, in the second phase they issue warnings to violators and give t-shirts to those that comply (positive reinforcement) and in the final phase they start issuing paying citations. In addition to this program we also talk about it at student orientation and other group meetings. Since January 1st of this year, UPD has issued over 100 written/warning and verbal citations to skateboarders and bicyclists.
Since January 1st, there have been (to our knowledge) two people hurt as a result of skateboards. In each case the skateboard rider fell off their board and only injured themselves (no other person injured). In only one case this year (reported to us) has there been any property damage. At this time Student Affairs and the Police Department are exploring other options to address this issue.