Update: SF State bans hoverboards from campus


Donald Howard, an 18-year-old kinesiology major, poses with his hoverboard at SF State on Monday, Feb. 15.

An email to the student body Monday morning announced that the 2016 Housing License Agreement has added hoverboards to the list of wheeled items that are banned on campus.

“Safety is dependent on our commitment to each other,” said President Leslie E. Wong at a safety meeting Thursday, Feb. 11.

Wong, Vice President Luoluo Hong and University Police Department Chief Reginald Parson all spoke at the meeting about how they plan to keep SF State safe.

Hong spoke about how a simple piece of paper will not change the use of these items on campus and how safety on campus needs to be peer-based, because the the student body outnumbers the police.

“It’s going to take more than a written policy for the ban on hoverboards (to be effective),” Hong said.

Freshman kinesiology major Donald Howard said it’s very convenient for him to get around campus on his hoverboard.

“If I’m on Mary Park, but I want to catch the 28, that’s a far walk; but if I have my hoverboard, I could get there at the snap of a finger,” Howard said. “It’s just wheels.”

Donald Howard, an 18-year-old Kinesiology major, poses with his hoverboard at SF State on Monday, Feb. 15.
Donald Howard, an 18-year-old Kinesiology major, poses with his hoverboard at SF State on Monday, Feb. 15.

Beginning Jan. 1, California adopted a series of new laws applying to hoverboards, including a minimum age of 16, the required use of a helmet, a maximum speed limit of 15 mph, and banning hoverboards from roads with a speed limit exceeding 35 mph.

SF State has had a “no wheels” ban for years, but this new policy is being enacted across California. Other CSU’s are also changing their policies, mainly because of the fire hazard that these devices pose.

Chico State University housing also banned these hoverboads in a letter to their students, asking them to remove these items from campus completely. A similar email was sent out to the students at SF State.

“The aforementioned devices or equipment may be confiscated if left or ridden in unauthorized areas,” the SF State email read.

Besides being a public nuisance, a lot of universities are banning these hoverboards because of the possibility of them catching fire. Last month, a house in Santa Rosa caught fire, killing the family’s two dogs, after a hoverboard sparked while charging, according to ABC 7 News. 

“The National Fire Protection Association have raised serious safety concerns about hoverboards due to the fire hazard that they pose, and the University has taken these steps in order to maintain a safe campus community,” said Jonathan Morales, director of news and new media, in an email. “The safety of all students, faculty, staff and visitors is of utmost importance to the University.”