Students caught with a hoverboard in any university building can expect an automatic write-up and a hefty fine. Courtesy of Hunter Lovett.
On Jan. 7, University of Montevallo Housing and Residence Life announced a temporary ban on hoverboards on campus, stating the devices “may not be operated, charged or stored inside any UM building, including courtyards, patios or balcony areas.” The policy explicitly states the devices may not be used inside University buildings but does not say anything about their use elsewhere on campus.
John Denson, Director of Housing, stated that the policy was instituted due to safety concerns raised by the Consumer Safety Products Commission (CPSC). Denson noted “This is a campus wide policy, not just Residence Halls. Our main concern about this device is the threat of fire.” Like any other potential fire hazard, the boards will not be allowed in the Residence Halls due to the threat they present.
For students who live on campus, violating the policy will lead to immediate consequences. Students found to be in possession of a hoverboard inside of a Residence Hall will incur an automatic write-up, accompanied by a fine. Students who were unaware of the policy before returning to school are instructed to either leave their board in the box or take it off campus.
Despite the popularity of hoverboards during the recent holiday season, UM students seem to support the temporary ban. Several students expressed solidarity with the policy on the safety front, while others seem to think that it should be obvious that this is not allowed without the issuance of an official rule.
Senior Brandon Perez stated “There shouldn’t be hoverboards in the Residence Hall, period. You wouldn’t ride a bike or a skateboard inside, so why would you ride this? It should be common sense.”
These apparent issues are becoming more and more prevalent, with 22 fires reported in 17 states, according to the CPSC. There have been numerous reports of explosions and other similar incidents. In December, a resident of Gulf Shores, Alabama suffered from major injuries when his hoverboard exploded under his feet after being charged.
In addition to this, many injuries are sustained from not wearing proper safety equipment, including a helmet.
UM is not alone in their updated policy. Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University, the University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University have instituted similar bans, pending further research into the true hazard of hoverboards.