Editor, Daily Nexus,
Regarding the proposition to ban skateboarding at UCSB that seems to rear its ugly head every half-decade or so, I am assuming that the intention behind this proposition is to reduce the frequency of injuries on campus. This would be accomplished much more efficiently by addressing careless biking.
There are many more bikes on campus than skateboards at any given time. Bikes have much more mass and typically more velocity than skateboards. Injuries due to careless biking occur on campus with greater frequency and intensity than do injuries from skateboarding. To more effectively accomplish the goal of reducing injuries on campus, I recommend the school focus instead on biking.
Offer free biking classes for incoming students, some of whom have never learned to ride a bike but still need one to get across campus.
Consider ticketing for cell phone use while biking.
Consider actually enforcing the existing rules against biking through walkways.
Build bike paths that actually go where students need to go.
Install “yield” signs at the roundabouts, so students know that incoming roundabout traffic has no right-of-way.
If the intention behind the proposed ban on skateboarding is not to reduce injuries, I can only assume that the intention is to codify archaic anti-skateboard sentiment and to reinforce the inaccurate stereotype of the skateboarder as miscreant. This motivation would clearly be misguided and discriminatory.
Skating is a great way to get from class to class. It alleviates traffic on the bike paths as well as the overcrowding at the bike racks. Further, the majority of skateboards on campus are longboards, which are preferred precisely because they are more stable than trick decks.
There are probably a few reckless skateboarders on campus, but if the school is genuinely concerned with our safety, shouldn’t the focus be on the more severe, more common, and more injurious problem that bicyclists pose?
Check your injury statistics, UCSB.