By Duane Paul Murphey
Johnathan Swayer, the Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the Catholic University of America, recently announced along with the university’s Risk Management Staff a total ban on hover boards, the popular and commercially successful self-balancing, hands-free scooter device, on the campus and in the residencies.
The ban is in response to numerous media reports on how these devices are spontaneously combusting and causing minor or serious injuries as well as the complaints being investigated by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or the CPSC.
In recent public statement, the CPSC wrote online, “Some of these injuries have been serious, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries. Always wear a proper helmet and padding while using this product.”
When asked about the hover board ban, Cullen Murphy, a freshman Politics major, said, “I actually support the ban on the hover boards. Multiple colleges, universities, and cities across the United States have banned them due to their possibility of catching on fire or due to their possibility of exploding. So I believe that the university took the right step in insuring the safety of the students by banning the hover boards.”
Michael Malafara, a freshman Philosophy major, said, “It is probably a good idea a least until more safety information comes up so we can receive a bit more surety about the situation going on. So I am in support of it, but if information comes out that there is really no safety concern, then I be willing to get that amended.”
While there have been some voices in support of the ban on campus, others have voiced their opposition to the ban on campus.
Andrew Hohenstein, freshman Business major, said, “I was so looking forward to bringing them down here and then what happens they banned them. I am outraged. I am so pissed.”
The device was claimed to be the invention of Shane Chen, an American businessman and founder of an electronic device company called “Inventist.” Chen’s product received a major investment from American billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who vows to sue any company that copies its product or patent.
Chen patented his device in 2014, a year before the product became commercially mainstream. The device has be popularized by musical artists such rappers Wiz Khalifa and Missy Elliot and late-night talk hosts such as Jimmy Fallon.