Argument against "trick" skateboarding
At UCSD there is no "trick" skateboarding policy which states that if your board leaves the ground you are subject to being ticketed by a police officer. Although they usually will let you go if you show them your student ID, they often make it a point to lecture you on why it is against school policy. They will usually tell you that it is a liability issue or that it damages property, but how true are these statements?
- Many argue that skateboarding is destructive to property and is why there is a need to build all these ledges with the metal caps on them, but in my opinion I think that the caps make the property just as unattractive as grind marks can be. The architecture was put there to be used as a public space so why should it be open to everyone except skateboarders? The purpose of street skating is not to go out and destroy property, it is a sport that promotes creativity and forces the skater to think of ways to use the architecture around them. The complaint that the grind marks make the ledges unattractive are not very true, as you will see people sitting on those areas all the time with no hesitation.
- Adults often have the misconception that skateboarders are mean-spirited and are disrespectful, bringing a negative image to the campus. However, I believe that while there are disrespectful people in all demographics, if you treat skateboarders with the same respect as you would anyone else and ask them to leave politely they will comply without any problem. The people I skate with on campus are all very respectful and upstanding students of the university so we are here to maintain a positive image as well.
- People complain that skateboarding is noisy and yes while it is, the students on campus who skateboard will always have to decency to skateboard in areas that are not holding class sessions nearby and will leave if asked to.
- The most damning argument against skateboarding on campus is that it is a liability and that it is a dangerous hobby. Although this may be true to the untrained eye, skateboarding is more often than not anything but dangerous. Skateboarders are not as reckless as many would like to believe. We try tricks that we have practiced and will jump off stairs and gaps because we know that we are capable, no one is throwing themselves down a big gap relying entirely on luck to land on the board. We don't go out trying the most dangerous thing for the sake of the thrill, we try dangerous things because we know that we can lang the trick with a fair amount of confidence. Also, skateboarding is not nearly as dangerous to other students compared the speed that you will see bikers of longboarders traveling at. "Trick" skating is usually done in an open area away from people and for that reason it is not a threat to other students walking by.
Benefits of skateboarding
- Skateboarding can be a positive influence on the student population and should not be treated as an act of rebellion. It promotes physical activity and for the young people today there is a dire need for that. With video games, television, youtube, and social media, more often than not sober, outdoor activities are seemingly lost to the students at UCSD. If you don't believe me take a walk around campus on any given weekend and you will probably be able to count the number of students you see outside on your hands. Skateboarding gets people to hangout outdoors, and even if you are not skateboarding at the moment you are sitting on the bench with your buddies having a conversation about what tricks you want to learn or what classes you will be taking next quarter. It is an activity which you can meet people instantly, even if you have never met that person you can go up to them and because you both share an interest in skateboarding two strangers can become friends with ease, and at a campus with a nickname of "UC socially dead" that would help students meet more people around them.
- Skateboarding brings all kinds of people together, speaking for the students that skate at UCSD, there is no one type of person that skateboards. You will find computer science majors hanging out with economics majors, on campus students hanging out with off campus students, and students from different colleges getting together to hangout and skateboard.
- One problem I encountered a lot while living on campus along with many people around me was the complaint that there was nothing to do on campus. In between classes or going to the gym it seemed like many people did not venture outdoors unless it was that occasional visit to the beach or to go buy food at the market. There are not a whole lot of outdoor activities readily available to students and if basketball or tennis is not your thing you better enjoy running. Skateboarding is great because it is something you can do all afternoon or it is something you can do on a study break, but most importantly it is best to do with friends. It is something anyone can pickup and with friends learning tricks with you will always keep you motivated to improve your own skills.
- The sport also promotes self-expression and creativity, and on a campus with such a strong art program you would think that the administrators would promote such an activity. You will find skateboarding influences the art they create, the way they dress, and even the music they listen to or perform. You will find skateboarders creating videos to showcase their skateboarding and all these things come together to encompass the artistic aspect of skateboarding. It is such a variable sport and hobby that the possibilities are endless.
- The campus could make "trick" skating acceptable on campus, and this may create more interest in the sport around UCSD. The fact that a police officer can show up and give you a $100 ticket for "trick" skating can be a big deterrent for broke college students.
- The easy solution is to say "just go to the skatepark," but the reality is that all the skateparks are a 15 minute drive from campus at least, so if you do not have car going to the park is not very feasible, which is why the campus should provide a place to skate because by making it a crime to skate is not going to make it go away. The problem would be much better solved if administrators worked with skateboarders rather than work against them.
- The skateboard recreation area by the track & field is hard to find and the class itself is not very publicized. The area is cramped and feels even more so because it is shared with all the athletes who use that patio for training so often time the class which is only help once a week will be trumped by athletes working out. The campus could use some of the open space, such as the abandoned ceramics building near the old student center, and build a skatepark for students to enjoy on any given day. The skatepark would make it so that skaters no longer need to skate on ledges and stairs not built with skateboarding in mind and they will finally have a place to skate in a safe, and secluded area that does not bother anyone else. If the campus decided to charge an annual fee I am sure the skateboarders on campus would have no problem paying as they already do every quarter for the recreation class to skate on mediocre equipment.