Students, officials: skateboarding could be allowed on campus

Though signs posted throughout UNA’s campus prohibit skateboarding, many students think the activity should be allowed. And, according to UNA Police Chief Bob Pastula, concessions could be made to accomodate skateboarders.

UNA’s campus is an enjoyable place to skateboard, according to some students. Campus police, however, maintain that skateboarding is illegal on campus, though future concessions could be made.

“The reason we don’t allow skateboarding on campus is twofold: damages and the possibility of injury,” said Bob Pastula, UNA chief of police, “There is a possibility we could allow students to ride skateboards on campus if they are responsible. This would be a decision made by our executive board.”

Pastula said the damage done to campus rails and sidewalks by skateboarders is the main reason for the current rules against skating.

“Another example is the fountain on campus,” Pastula said. “It is made of a soft composite material that could be chipped or broken off if someone was to jump or stand on it. That’s one of my main concerns about future damages.”

Pastula said he is aware of students using skateboards solely for commuting on campus.

“If the students wanted to take action to change the current rules, I’d have no problem with that,” Pastula said. “They would just need to show that they would comply with the new rules once the rules are in place.”

John Marquez, a freshman at UNA, said he enjoys doing tricks on campus but only does so at night.

“I usually go to the top of the parking deck to stay out of people’s way,” Marquez said. “It’s nice up there because it’s the least (monitored) area of campus.”

Marquez said students, including himself, like to skate on the main campus because of the landscape.

“It lets me express myself on smooth pavement and has hills so you don’t have to walk everywhere,” Marquez said. “For a professional skate video, this would be the place.”

Marquez said he also skates downtown and that there is a public skate park, located a few miles from campus.

“I know it’s illegal to skate on campus,” Marquez said. “I’ve seen the sign and I get it. It wouldn’t be good to ruin any type of structures or go running into students. I think it’s completely understandable.”

Clark Greer, a junior at UNA, said he frequently used his longboard for transportation while living on campus. Greer said he believes that using a longboard to commute should be no different than riding a bike on campus.

“I’ve actually fallen off of a bike on this campus way more than I have fallen off of a longboard,” Greer said. “If you are responsible, you’re not going to get hurt.”

Greer said the campus terrain is great for longboarding and that it is not hard to be safe around other students.

“I don’t usually wear a helmet on campus because I’m not going to be doing anything crazy,” Greer said. “If they wanted to set that as a rule, I would comply.”

Greer said he is not sure that all students would comply with a new set of rules.

“I don’t think the guys who ride skateboards to do tricks would wear helmets or stop tricking on campus,” Greer said. “I think maybe if the trick skaters got a ticket or their name taken, then they would consider it.”