Rolling to campus
by Zoey Duncan
Campus sustainability proj-ects are visible throughout the school: the award-winning, environmentally friendly Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning and the recent expulsion of Styrofoam from Wyckham House to name a few. But one student thinks that the campus could be greener, if security would give skateboarders a break.
“I’ve gotten in trouble cruising from the parking lot to get out of here,” said Perry Hohn, a student who regularly rides his skateboard to and from school and work. “It’s just sort of ridiculous.”
Hohn said he’s frustrated because he has seen inline skaters roll through Wyckham, and cyclists ride up to the doors of the school, and doesn’t understand how skateboarding is any different.
“They paint skateboarders with a bad rap and it’s really not fair,” Hohn said. “In situations where I’m just rolling from point A to point B, I don’t see it to be an issue.”
The manager of security services sees the situation a little bit differently.
“A lot of my guys (employees of security services) grew up in Calgary and they’re skateboarders themselves,” said Bill Spring. “We just have a very soft approach at first and ask them(skateboarders) to comply.”
Mount Royal’s skateboard and inline skate policy is “pretty much” in line with the city-wide bylaw, according to Spring. The bylaw states that skateboards and inline skates may not be used on any street, or any sidewalks in a central traffic area downtown, or anywhere a no-skating sign is posted.
Spring said that the policy is in place for the protection of pedestrians. He said one of the worst ever accidents on campus involved a cyclist hitting a pedestrian outside of the recreation building.
Hohn, however, said that Mount Royal should consider a policy more like the one at the University of Calgary. The director of campus security at the U of C, Lanny Fritz, said that there are students who use skateboards on the pathways and sidewalks alongside pedestrians.
Fritz said that as long as a skateboarder stays at about five miles per hour and shares the sidewalk safely, it isn’t a problem.
“The only issues we have with skateboarders are those that decide to…put themselves or others at risk of injury,” he said. “Every once in a while, the skateboarder will have somebody accompanying them with a video recorder, where they take a video of the trick or display what they’re trying to do.”
While Mount Royal’s policy is currently undergoing some revision, changes will only reflect the transition to a university, and there are no plans to change what areas are available to skaters.