By Kennedy Tavares
Around the SUNY Plattsburgh campus, the rise of scooters has been prevalent as the semester unfolds. With the number of scooters increasing, the number of rules and regulations around campus have as well.
Clinton Dining Hall and the Sundowner have explicitly prohibited scooters to combat the rise in scooters being ridden inside.
Beginning six years ago, both eateries placed a ban on scooters, skateboards and other modes of transportation. The rule was put in place to combat those who ride their scooters inside the establishment.
“At any given time during a ‘lunch rush’ the Sundowner can see over a half dozen scooters/skateboards/e-boards,” said Christopher Mihalyi, resident district manager at SUNY Plattsburgh, in a written response.
The number of scooters, however, wasn’t quite their problem.
“In the limited amount of space in Clinton and the Sundowner, during peak times, students might lose control of their scooter while also trying to balance their meal and beverage,” Mihalyi said. “There was a recent collision in the Sundowner between two students. One of which was riding his scooter and collided with another student. Both students fell to the ground.”
SUNY Plattsburgh staff aren’t the only ones who have taken notice of the expanding scooter community; some drivers haven’t been happy with the growing scooter-riding population either.
Jessica Tafuri, a newly-licensed driver as of July, has expressed her concerns about scooter riders.
“This semester I’ve seen a lot more scooters in the street than in previous semesters. Sometimes they pop up out of nowhere, and I think it’s very dangerous,” Tafuri, a junior majoring in TV and radio broadcast production, said.
Despite some criticism toward student scooter riders, they aren’t scared to use their vehicle. One of these persistent scooter riders is Tai’jah Neil, a senior sociology major, who frequently uses a scooter around campus.
Neil has been using a scooter since last year to help with living far away from campus. Purchasing a bike wasn’t a financially sound decision for Neil to make at the time, but a scooter was a perfect option.
Students, especially those who live off campus, tend to use a vehicle to transport them around campus. Bikes, scooters and skateboards are all popular modes of transportation that can be seen around campus. With the prohibition of scooters, some riders have been feeling alienated.
“It’s kind of embarrassing being called out, especially since I don’t have a car,” Neil said. “It’s my way of transportation.”
Despite the fact that the ban has been in place for years, it’s management’s recent posting of the ban that has gained attention. Instead of riding their scooters indoors, students can leave them at the cash registers.
“I understand recent postings at the Sundowner read ‘No Scooters Allowed,’ and this is misleading. We have already taken steps to correct this signage and guide students into proper use and storage within our facilities,” Mihalyi said.
As the semester continues, SUNY Plattsburgh is working on building an environment that’s safe for everyone, even if that means prohibiting scooters.