Give us hoverboards or give us death: Fightin’ for freedom

By: Duke Staff

We at The Duke are infuriated by the recent ban of hoverboards on Duquesne’s campus. Hoverboard control is not the answer to recent problems.

On Feb. 2, 2016, the university instituted a sweeping executive action — bypassing the inept Student Government Association — that outlaws the use of self-balancing electric scooters on campus grounds.

Duquesne’s reason was that hoverboards increase the risk of injury for both riders and pedestrians, and that the scooters routinely catch fire. Sounds reasonable, right?


For months now, after every broken bone or hoverboard fire, we’ve been repeatedly saying, “Now is not the time to talk about hoverboard control.” Well, guess what? Now’s the time.

This outrageous violation of our most basic constitutional rights is an injustice to law-abiding hoverboard riders everywhere. Taking away our ability to glide gracefully on the pavement is denying the very freedom our campus was built on 138 years ago.

Just because there have been hundreds of hoverboard accidents — and a few dozen fires — in the past year doesn’t mean hoverboards are dangerous. Hoverboards don’t start fires. People start fires.

We need hoverboards. We need them because they make us look cool. We need them because they make us go, well, slightly faster than walking.

And if the Duquesne administration ever becomes tyrannical, we’ll need them to escape, albeit slowly.

Besides, how can Duquesne realistically enforce a ban like this? People will always find a way to obtain and ride hoverboards. Rascals will get the scooters from a thrift shop in Armstrong County, then ride them recklessly right through Academic Walk.

And who will stop them? No one. Duquesne police should be required to ride hoverboards at all times. Because you know what they say: The only way to stop a bad guy on a hoverboard is a good guy on a hoverboard.

Yes, we know how the “liberal media” tries to spin it. They say, “It’s too darn easy to get a hoverboard license nowadays,” and, “Every other developed university in the country has hoverboard control.”

But as James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46, the right to hoverboard “forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple [university] of any form can admit of.”