By Phillip Lentsch–

U of L has drafted a new policy to ban hoverboards in residence halls. The decision was made after UK decided to propose a campus-wide ban on them, leading to many schools in Kentucky to limit their usage.

“Unfortunately, hoverboards have emerged as a serious fire hazard,” said U of L Housing Director Julie Weber. “While there haven’t been any accidents with them at U of L, we are trying to avoid a serious incident from happening.”

This recent ban only prohibits hoverboard usage in residence halls. Students are free to use them while roaming around campus.

“When you charge a hoverboard and leave it unattended for a while, that creates a huge risk for the chance of it catching on fire,” said U of L Fire Marshall Dwain Archer. “If we allowed every student to bring their hoverboards into their dorms, it wouldn’t take long for someone to overcharge it.”

graphic by Sarah Rohleder

Graphic by Sarah Rohleder

While hoverboards have emerged as a recent form of transportation, many have questioned the safety of these new self-balancing scooters. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 70 instances of emergency room visits due to hoverboards at the end of 2015. Accidents ranged from kids falling off the board to sudden explosions from overcharging.

“U of L hasn’t developed an official policy in regards to hoverboards, but we do believe that banning them in residence halls is a common-sense safety precaution we can take,” said Archer.

Cardinal Towne and The Province are the only off-campus apartment complexes that have followed suit. The Retreat, The Bellamy, The Clubhouse and The Arch still allow them inside.

“I think U of L is doing the right thing by banning hoverboards from dorms,” said sophomore Freddy Martin. “Student safety should be the main concern, and if an overcharged hoverboard can cause a fire that burns down an entire hall, than it’s really a no-brainer.”

“They should be banned just like candles or smoking is not allowed in dorms,” said sophomore Maddie Satterly. “They can catch fire at any time and that’s something that residence halls shouldn’t have to deal with.”

Students are still able to travel through campus with their hoverboards, which not all residents are happy about.

“My foot got ran over by one,” said sophomore Kelsey Embry. “I was standing in line for Chik-fil-a and he backed up and ran over my toes. We made eye contact and he awkwardly rolled away. I’m glad they’re banning them.”