by Eden Marcus
Photo courtesy of YouTube.com
Welcome to 2016: the year that proves the future has arrived. We are not even a month into this year, and the newest trend has already sparked some controversy. People are taking it easy these days, simply gliding down the street on hands-free and self-balancing scooters. The hoverboard has been around for a few years now, but its sudden increase in popularity and sales has made this holiday season look like a scene from Back to the Future. However, it seems BU has not hopped on the bandwagon, or rather bandhoverboard. BU has recently banned the use of these futuristic machines on campus due to the recent incidents of their batteries catching on fire.
“On a busy street filled with students, it's pretty dangerous for you, and everyone around you, if [the hoverboard] starts to spazz out,” Peter Ashley (SHA ’16) said. “Not to mention, you look like an asshole,” Ashley continued.
While a hoverboard may be argued as just a more advanced and modern skateboard, the hoverboard is more of a wildcard, according to Ashley. Motors power hoverboards, whereas people power their own skateboards. This can cause more safety issues when making sharp turns or trying to maneuver.
Commonwealth Avenue is constantly packed with thousands of students getting to and from class as well as the on-going Boston traffic filled with commuting Massholes. This seems to be a bad combination for the fate of hoverboards. Luckily, not many are seen on campus, so the chance of a student uprising against the decision is unlikely.
“I honestly don't care about the decision cause I've never ridden mine on campus,” Ashley said. “I use mine more for fun, not transportation.”
BU is not the only school to have banned the use of hoverboards. The entire city of New York and 20 other colleges have also decided to prohibit these devices. So if you were one of the many to receive a hoverboard over winter break, which were this year’s hottest holiday gift according to People magazine, know that BU isn’t the only college to ban them due to safety concerns.
Katie Tung (SAR ’18) is among the pool of people who received a hoverboard for Christmas this year. Like Ashley, she only uses it for fun, which includes races with her brother.
“I’m not really surprised by the ban,” Tung said. “I definitely think that they do pose a huge fire risk for the buildings that isn’t really necessary.”
According to Tung, she probably would not have used her hoverboard on Comm. Ave even if the new ban had not been placed.
“I think they are annoying for other pedestrians to work around. Also, they are hard to ride on pavement because you usually have to pick them up over curbs,” Tung said.
Thanks to BU, it looks like we’ll all just have to tackle that walk to class the old-fashioned way this semester.