UB bans hoverboards in dorms and apartments

University cites fire hazards, considering banning boards all over campus


Antwann Kearse thought his hoverboard would be the solution to getting around campus quickly – until UB banned them from campus residence halls and on-campus apartments.

Hoverboards are two-wheeled electric scooters that have become increasingly popular since this past summer. Over winter break, Campus Living sent emails to students informing them that hovebroards are no longer permitted in residence halls and on-campus apartments. According to Assistant Director of Student Conduct David Wright, hoverboards are banned because they are a fire hazard. The lithium battery, when charged, is reported to catch fire easily.

“There’s a lot of information out there about it – we were hearing about other campuses communicating to their students about the issues,” Wright said. “The issue had reached a critical mass for college campuses and we felt the need to take action.”

But some students are not too happy about the news.

“[The ban] effects me a lot,” Kearse, a junior business major who lives in Clement Hall on South Campus, said. “Let’s be honest – UB is a big school and my hoverboard made it smaller. It was convenient and now that it’s banned it takes longer to get places.”Kearse doesn’t know anyone personally who had issues with their board but has heard stories about other malfunctions.

The hoverboards are not banned from the entire campus, though Wright said the campus will soon make a decision about where they can be in areas like the academic spine.

UB isn’t the only place to restrict the use of hoverboards.

They are being treated the same way as skateboards, and are no longer allowed in certain public spaces including the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.Though the ban may seem like will affect many students, Wright points out that three quarters of the undergraduate population lives off campus anyway.

“This will only effect a small part of the undergraduate population,” Wright said. “We’re taking the action we feel is most fitting.”

The University Village at Sweethome, off-campus apartments not affiliated with UB, has also banned the hoverboards.

“Hoverboards and all forms of motorized scooters and motorized personal transportation devices are recognized as potential fire hazards and are prohibited from being used and/or stored in the community,” the email stated.

While some students are upset about the ban, others don’t care much for the new age technology that has others zipping around school.

“I don’t really care whether or not they’re banned, I don’t have one and I think it’s obnoxious when people roll around on them,” said Ian Carson, a junior economics major. “If they really are dangerous, it’s good that they’re banned.”

Other students, such as Kevin Deng, a senior legal studies major, have a more relaxed approach to the topic.

“The idea of it is simple: a board that takes away the need to walk,” Deng said. “It’s a good business tactic because it hones in on our desire to make our lives easier. The idea itself is great but it’s dangerous because people are willing to pay less for poor quality. If it isn’t safe it isn’t worth the risk.”

Tori Roseman is the senior features editor and can be reached at tori.roseman@ubspectrum.com.