SUNY Brockport’s hostility toward skateboarding
SUNY Brockport alumni and member of Sweden Skatepark Coalition Josh Gillett discovered his passion for skateboarding at the age of 12 and has involved himself in the sport ever since.
(Screenshot of Josh Gillett performing a trick at the Sweden Skatepark Sourced from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtMnpV_8K5o&t=231s)
Over the years Gillett has noticed that some authority figures like to restrict skateboarders from skating based on their preconceived notions that skateboarders are “mischievous”.
“I have been sat on a curb by University Police as they went back to their vehicle to scan my ID for skateboarding several times. This is a pretty crazy thing to think about as not only is skateboarding a mode of transportation but now an Olympic sport and super mainstream,” Gillett said.
Some campuses, including SUNY Brockport, have rules restricting the use of bikes and skateboards on campus.
However, there are no rules stating that students cannot ride scooters on campus. This causes some students to question these rules as scooters can be just as distracting and dangerous as bikes and skateboards, especially if the scooter is electric.
“Brockport might as well add scooters to the list if anything scooters are way more dangerous to property and people, especially those motorized ones,” Gillett said.
SUNY Brockport has penalties in place for students who violate their rules pertaining to skateboarding on campus. These penalties vary based on how many times these rules have been violated.
- First Offense: Confiscation of the skateboard or rollerblades/roller skates for a period of five days. A parent or guardian must pick up the skateboard or rollerblades/roller skates.
- Second Offense: Confiscation of the skateboard or rollerblades/roller skates for a period of fifteen days. College students will be referred to the campus judicial system. Non-students will be notified that they are banned from campus and, if they return, will be arrested for trespassing.
- Third Offense: Confiscation of the skateboard or rollerblades/roller skates for a period of six months. College students will be referred to the campus judicial system. Non-students will be arrested for trespassing.
“I have heard several stories of people getting tickets and definitely having their boards taken away. Those pillars on buildings like the Fine Art Center were really funny to hide behind as University Police would drive by chasing us when I was younger,” Gillett said.
Some students such as Gillett were unaware of the rules that SUNY Brockport has in place for skateboarding on campus until after their first violation.
Despite these rules over the past 16 years skateboarding on campus has increased significantly as reported by Kevin Fang.
“I would like to think that people’s opinions have changed about skateboarding. Is rubbing a candle on a ledge to grind it the same level of vandalism as drunk brian coming down the stairs and kicking the brand new skate-stopped ledge off of its base at the bottom of the catwalk next to the Brown Building,” Gillett said.
Students are realizing that this is a very efficient way to get to class faster and can help save on gas.
“ Yes, I have skated on campus. Both for transportation and also to actually try tricks with friends at certain spots,” Gillett said.
Skateboarding not only provides people with a means of transportation but also gives them a chance to express their creativity and interact with other people who share the same hobby as them.
“Skateboarding is very versatile because it can be used however you want. Some people might want to take it seriously and really push themselves to perfect tricks. Some people might want to just goof around and have fun. Others might just use it as a mode of transportation. No matter how seriously you take it, it’s a great way to stay active and enjoy yourself,” Gillett said.
Skateboarding is a sport that
Over the years authority figures and skaters have clashed based on the stereotype that all skaters are “mischevious”. However, skaters like Gillet who are passionate about the sport believe that skateboarding can be useful in many ways and that it should be allowed on college campuses.