Longboards and skateboards have a lot in common, but one area where they differ is their acceptance on campus.
Dean of Students Del Beatty said that while longboarding is accepted on campus, skateboarding is definitely not allowed.
Campus police said skateboarding on campus caused expensive property damage several years ago, and student government voted to ban skateboarding on campus because the majority of skateboarders weren’t even affiliated with the college.
But there was a push to allow longboarding on campus about two years ago, and administration researched the idea and found that longboards, unlike skateboards, are built for transportation not stunts, Beatty said.
“[This is because] skateboards are for tricks, and longboards are for transportation,” said Frank Lojko, vice president of student services.
Because of this, longboarding is allowed on campus.
While administration takes a definite stand against skateboarding, the rules seem to be widely unknown by both students and faculty members.
Julia Bell, a sophomore communication major from San Antonio, said, “I think skateboards and longboards are allowed—people ride them all the time.”
And Jordon Sharp, director of student leadership and involvement, said he thinks biking, longboarding and skateboarding are all allowed on campus.
There is no written policy or formal announcement to students about the ban on skateboarding, but Beatty said skateboards are on the list of things not allowed on campus, and there are signs around campus that read “no skateboarding.”
Beatty also said college employees should call campus police when they see skateboarders, but even campus police can’t do much when it comes to punishing skateboarders if they’re not damaging property.
“I don’t want my guys to have to walk around with a ruler, measuring boards,” said Don Reid, campus police and security director. “We don’t like stopping people for no reason, and it’s not fair to stop a skateboarder but not a longboarder.”
However, student services said they have received positive feedback about the allowance of longboarding on campus.
Wesley Teitjen, a senior integrated studies major from Phoenix, agrees that longboarding isn’t a problem at the school.
“It’s a quick way to get around campus,” he said. “I don’t see it as a problem; most people are good about getting out of the way.”
And Sharp said it would go against DSC culture to ban alternative transportation like longboarding.
“We promote a physical lifestyle here at Dixie,” he said. “It would be wrong not to allow students other ways to get to and around the college, especially with the campus getting bigger.”
Some students do not agree with the acceptance of longboards, though.
“I get scared when I see them coming toward me,” Bell said. “I feel like they’re going to run me over.”
However, Beatty said it solves more problems than it creates.
“Longboarding alleviates parking problems and allows students to get to classes on time,” he said. “Plus the weather here is great for it.”
Written for Dixie Sun News by Kelsie Watters