News

University bans hoverboards

Students planning to buy a hoverboard may want to wait until after graduating, as John Brown University will soon be banning them from campus.

Hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters or hands free Segways, have been banned by more than 30 schools, according to USA Today. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently came out with a new list of safety standards for manufacturers to lessen the risk of fire, injury and even death for consumers. Hoverboards that do not meet these new requirements are at risk of recall.

The hands-free Segways may be responsible for 28 fires in 19 different states, and have caused more than 70 injuries that have resulted in emergency room visits, according to USA Today. Explosions are caused from faulty lithium ion batteries, overcharging and other undetermined problems.

Madison Mitchell, senior kinesiology major, currently has a hoverboard on campus. “It’s disappointing,” Mitchell said of the impending ban. “It’s just fun. I use it in the dorm, and I let people play with it.”

“I don’t take it outside,” Mitchell said, as the hoverboard doesn’t work on the uneven sidewalks.

Mitchell has not had any injuries, experienced any fires or had problems with her personal hoverboard. “I’ve fallen, but there’ve been no mechanical malfunctions.”

Riley Moore, sophomore engineering major, also owns a hoverboard. “It’s over the top,” Moore said of the ban. “I mean, how many people get hurt on bicycles?”

Both Moore and Mitchell have Swagways, the original brand of hoverboard, and both mentioned the importance of choosing a good brand before purchasing.

“There’s a chip that keeps them from exploding,” Mitchell said of her Swagway. “It has something do with converting the power for charging.”

Fernando Hurley, sophomore accounting major, disagrees with the ban even though he does not own a hoverboard.

“People should be able to use their money on whatever,” Hurley said. “But they should try to find name-brand batteries.”

Stephanie Ortiz, freshman family and human services major, wanted more research.

“What’s the percent of combustion?” she asked. “I don’t think they should ban them. I mean, it’s not paraphernalia, it’s not illegal, it’s not against the covenant,” Ortiz said. “It doesn’t affect the majority of the student  population.”

Mitchell and Moore both said they knew of only one other person on campus with a hoverboard, indicating that the number of students who own one on campus is very small.

Moore sees no issue with fire hazard. “The [electrical] outlet is more of a problem than the Swagway,” Moore said.

“You could ban certain brands,” Mitchell said, when asked what a better alternative might be. “But, I don’t know how that would be controlled.”

Brandon Tuttle, freshman management major, said he does nt care very much if hoverboards are banned. “It seems illogical to use them here. You can’t use them on the sidewalk, you  might as well have a bike,” Tuttle said.

“It’s the same as microwaves and open candles. There’s potential there,” Tuttle said.