Campus Enforces Library Walk Skateboarding Policy

UCSD Police placed ‘No Skateboarding’ signs on Library Walk the week of March 3 due to the administration’s growing concerns of damage to UCSD grounds.

Almost 22 years ago, UCSD agreed to regulate skateboarding and other skating devices by enacting a policy that would prohibit students from skateboarding “irresponsibly on all major campus walkways and complexes of UCSD.”

“There were growing reports that a lot of structural damage (as a result of skateboards, roller skates, etc.), not only disrupted people because of the noise skateboards made, but also proved to be a financial liability,” UCSD spokesperson Rex Graham said. “UCSD administrators felt skating needed to be curbed.”

As a result, UCSD administrators, faculty members and students voted to regulate skating across campus.

According to Graham, the signs were put up this week because of the costs involved in paying for additional damages caused by skateboards, roller skates, in-line skates, foot power scooters and others. Policy offenders are allowed a one-time warning; repeat offenses result in a citation. The costs of these citations are predetermined by San Diego municipal court orders. This policy went into effect in 2006.

Municipal court orders determine citation fines, which can vary.

In addition, the damages would include refurbishing and repainting UCSD foundation buildings where skateboard tire tracks scar the pavement and the building walls on which skateboarding tricks are performed.

“One of the biggest problems we have faced has been maintaining UCSD’s walkways and pathways,” Graham said. “With the deep federal cuts, we just simply do not have enough resources to make up for the costs caused by skateboarding.”

The signs were placed in front of Geisel Library, adjacent to the Student Health Center and surrounding Library Walk, up to the border of the School of Medicine campus.

“I really understand this is quite an inconvenience for many students,” Graham said. “However, I really feel students will be able to understand our predicament. With that said, however, we will be strict in enforcement and immediately charge a fine for offenders of the policy.”

Since the policy was initially implemented in 1989, over 1,232 fines have been handed to students by UCSD Police. About 27 fines in total have been handed out in the last year.

“UCSD administrators have changed their rulings and have stated that UCSD police will enforce this policy,” Graham said.

Many students have complained about the implications of the policy, and feel that UCSD was being too restrictive in regard to transportation.

“I personally do not like this policy,” Revelle College freshman William Chang said. “I mean, just look around; I see undergrads and grads too, who skateboard from one class to another. It just doesn’t seem fair.”

Chang said he does not believe charging fines will make any significant financial difference for UCSD.

“Skateboarding… contributes to openness [at] UCSD, and justifying a policy against skateboarding simply for a financial premise does not make sense,” Chang said.

According to Graham, the policy will pay off.

“Students will get frustrated by the policy,” Graham said. “But if we can collectively make a difference for the future, we will see that our efforts will be rewarded.”

Graham said he did not have the specific details of how much UCSD spends per year on repairing structural damage caused by skateboards.

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