Skateboarding on campus is a crime

Students speeding their way from class to class on a skateboard may find themselves with a ticket if they are stopped by University Police. 

While the University Police actively enforces a campus-wide ban on skateboarding, being stopped for skateboarding does not necessarily mean that a student will face a ticket or disciplinary action after the first offense.

In order to stop and cite skateboarders on campus, the university’s police force uses “California Vehicle Code Section 21113 and President’s Directive 16,” according to University Police Lt. John Brockie.

President Gordon signed Directive 16 in 2008. The directive banned riding skateboards anywhere on campus, including parking structures, according to the university’s website.

Students, however, will not be ticketed the first time they are stopped for riding a skateboard.

“For students, first offense is a verbal warning, second is being referred to Judicial Affairs, third is a citation to traffic court,” said Brockie.

Sandra Rhoten, associate dean of Judicial Affairs, deals with students who have been stopped by police for the second time.

Students who have no prior record in Judicial Affairs will receive a warning for breaking University Policy and be on “warning status” for one academic year, at the end of which their slate would be swept clean, said Rhoten. If students are cited once again, they must meet with Judicial Affairs and may be placed on disciplinary probation and required to write a paper on critical thinking or participate in community service.

A student’s third violation for skateboarding will finally result in a citation that goes to traffic court. Yet traffic court does not necessarily mean that a skateboarder will be required to pay for the citation.

“There is a process to contest the citation,” Brockie said. “It is the same process if you were to get a citation for speeding.”

The decision as to whether students will be fined for their actions is left to a judge. The relevant law is Vehicle Code Section 21113, which prohibits a person from driving a vehicle or having an animal on the grounds of a public school or state university, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles website. The section also grants the Trustees of the California State University the power to restrict bicycles, skateboards or roller skates on public property.

The skateboarding ban is not something new to the campus, said John Beisner of Risk Management at CSUF.

“Back in 2005 and 2006, we reworked the university’s policy on skateboards and bicycles,” said Beisner.

Beisner works for Risk Management, where the “mission is to reduce losses without unnecessarily limiting activities that advance the University’s Mission & Goals,” according CSUF’s website.

Beisner explains the purpose of updating the university’s policy was to change the culture on campus to allow bicycles as a form of transportation.

Skateboarding at CSUF is not allowed partially because of an accident at Cal State Monterey Bay, in which a person suffered brain damage, Beisner said.

Beisner explained that when the policy on campus was reworked around five years ago, the university “reviewed the policy of other colleges and community colleges in California.” At the time no other colleges were allowing students to skateboard on their campuses.

Today, that is no longer the case. For example, San Diego State University is experimenting with a small stretch of campus where skateboarding is allowed, Beisner said.

Despite other universities becoming more open to skateboarding, CSUF still enforces the ban on campus on a daily basis, Brockie said. “Currently, skateboarding is not allowed anywhere on campus,” he said.

About Lance Morgan