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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Hoverboards banned from dorms

Senior+Won+Park+uses+his+hoverboard+to+get+around+on+campus+between+classes.
Senior Won Park uses his hoverboard to get around on campus between classes.

Hoverboards were a trending tech toy this holiday season, but they will not find a home in campus dorms this semester. A new rule by the Department of Residence Life bans the use, storage and charging of the two-wheeled scooters in residence halls at Texas A&M.
The Department of Residence Life, after consulting with Environmental Health and Safety, came to the decision after considering the fire hazard of using and charging hoverboards.
“Residence Life consulted with Environmental Health and Safety regarding hoverboards, specifically about the multitude of reports of fires related to them,” said Maggie Guzman, coordinator of risk management for Department of Residence Life. “In those discussions, we agreed that it was in the best interest of our residents’ safety to not allow hoverboards in our residence halls, apartments or office spaces.”
Bryan McBride, Residential Housing Association vice president and geographic information science and technology junior, said RHA will not fight Department of Residence Life’s decision. He said he came to understand the department’s reasoning, after watching several videos on hoverboards and their fire hazards.
“I think it was a wise call because we would like the residents to be safe and feel safe within the place that they reside during their academic school year at Texas A&M University,” McBride said.
Engineering freshman major Karthik Devakumar has been an owner of a hoverboard since Thanksgiving break. He said the rule is not a big deal to him because he never uses his hoverboard in dorms.
“I didn’t really use mine inside dorms, especially at Walton, because there isn’t any place to use them because it’s a pretty small area,” Devakumar said.
Guzman said there were not any issues last semester that she was aware of, and she does not foresee any in the upcoming semester.
“We already have a policy in place that prohibits the use and storage of other motor-operated vehicles in our facilities, so hoverboards fall into that category,” Guzman said. “I hope that residents will understand that this decision was made in an effort to make our facilities as safe as possible.”
McBride said he stands by what the department feels is the right call, and as an on-campus resident, the last thing he would want is a fire in the building he lives in.
“Though they may be a pretty sweet Christmas gift or a cool way to get to class, I rather not be the one responsible for causing a risk to other students,” McBride said. “I would hope the students will obey the decision and respect the department’s wishes as well as not put others in harm. We are an Aggie family and always seek excellence in every aspect of the university, including safety.”

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