Editor, Daily Nexus,
Many current students are likely unaware of the long tradition of skateboarding in Santa Barbara. I’m not just referring to the skateboarding that seems to be present in most “beach communities.” I was privileged enough to attend UCSB at a time when the Powell Peralta factory/skate park was located in Goleta. Yes, the same Powell Peralta company that is responsible for the “Bones Brigade” and setting Tony Hawk on the road to becoming a household name. Skateboarding is a part of Santa Barbara’s history. This isn’t a reason not to ban it on campus, but it should give those contemplating the ban a moment’s pause and cause them to reflect on the history that will be forgotten if skateboarding on campus is prohibited.
One of the more unique sights on the UCSB campus is seeing someone being towed to class on a longboard by a dog. When my friends from the Midwest, back East and less interesting parts of California would visit, they always marveled at this scene and remarked about what a great place UCSB is (or should I say was?). Notwithstanding the fact that the university has made great efforts to achieve recognition for its academics – for which the administration and faculty are to be commended – one of the more compelling aspects of UCSB as a community is that it is a campus beach community. This aspect draws potential students to UCSB. If skateboarding is prohibited on campus, that will be the first step to killing the university’s distinguishing characteristic.
And as an anecdotal aside, from 1992 to 1996, I neither witnessed nor was part of a skating accident, on or off campus. I can’t, however, say the same about bicycling.