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CSULB begins awareness campaign for new skateboarding policy

The campaign is expected to last up to six months.

CSULB begins awareness campaign for new skateboarding policy

Todd Johnson / Daily 49er

Para served as dean of the College of the Arts, Chair in the Department of Music and as the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

University Police and administration have kicked off an awareness campaign to inform students about Cal State Long Beach’s new skateboarding policy, which allows skateboarding on campus for the first time in school history.

“What we intend to do for the next six months is to have an active [awareness] campaign,” said Mary Stephens, vice president of administration and finance. “We don’t want to start by ticketing.”

In addition to “pedestrian access only” signs that are now posted throughout campus, some University Police officers and community service officers are informing skateboarders on campus about the new policy and handing out informative pamphlets, University Police Chief Fernando Solorzano said.

“This is kind of a way for the university to say, ‘We understand skateboarders are no longer just toys; however, we have to have some parameters for safety,’” he said.

After this six-month period, Solorzano said, an assessment will be made to determine if more time is needed to educate students about the new policy. He said observations of student behavior will be the main factor in deciding if the campaign needs to be extended.

“I want to be sure that there is ample time to let everyone know about the new policy,” he said.

Prior to the new policy, Solorzano said, University Police were told to handle at their own discretion situations in which skateboarders were riding dangerously.

But with the new policy, he said, enforcement will soon be more strict.

“What’s going to help us here is if we see somebody using a coasting device in the designated areas, there’s going to be no question about whether we ticket or not, once the education period has ended,” he said.

The skateboarding policy also requires that students do not skate in pedestrian-only zones, which are located in heavily trafficked areas, such as the walkway through upper campus and Brotman Hall. In these areas, students are asked to step off their skateboards and walk, Solorzano said.

The new policy also sets a five mph speed limit on skateboards and other coasting devices, such as roller skates and scooters.

Citations could be issued to skateboarders if they are seen blatantly disregarding the policy and acting recklessly, University Police Lieutenant Richard Goodwin said.

Stephens said the skateboarding policy applies to everyone on campus, including students and non-students.

“If we use [skateboards] like bikes, there’s no reason we can’t learn to live with each other,” Stephens said.

Stephens also said that the new policy took several months to develop.

“The [former] Long Beach municipal code said no skateboarding [was allowed,]” Stephens said. “It was an unsustainable position to take.”

In order for CSULB to create its own policy that would allow skateboarders to ride on campus, Stephens said, Solorzano had to attend a City Council meeting to appeal the city’s municipal code.

Campus administrators also worked closely with Associated Students Inc. President John Haberstroh and a group of students who skateboard on campus to review the policy before it was enacted, Stephens said.

 

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