Around New Paltz, it seems like trying to grind will always to be a hassle. I’m not talking about the stuff you see on the dance floors of P&G’s and Cabaloosa’s — I’m referring to the grinding tricks of the SUNY New Paltz skateboard club, B-Cubed.
According to the Student Handbook, students are allowed to skateboard anywhere on campus as long as they are mindful of other people passing and do not skateboard in front of entrances.
Third-year computer engineering major Julian Santo said University Police reprimand him constantly for skateboarding around campus. He said he is more often than not talked down to by police, and treated like “some sort of punk.”
In one instance, Santo was skateboarding with a friend in an empty parking lot when a cop forced them to leave. Santo asked why they couldn’t skate in a parking lot that was not being used, and the cop would either ignore his questions or respond with “jerky wisecracks.” The area he was skating in had no violation of the Student Handbook, an explanation the cop (who will remain unnamed) was not willing to listen to, according to Santo.
“He’s trying to override something written down in our Student Handbooks, and he talks down to us like he’s some super authority when it’s not his place at all to be making these kinds of rules,” Santo said.
At a different time, Santo was given a citation and was obligated to meet with the Dean of Students after a cop had written him up for skating behind the Lecture Center. According to Santo, what the cop thought he was trying to use as a skate obstacle Santo hadn’t been using. After going to a hearing, Santo’s case was dismissed due to the lack of evidence the cop had to show.
Jesse Fishman, a second-year electrical engineering major and member of B-Cubed, said the New Paltz Athletics Department confiscated the various obstacles that the club had purchased through grants given to them by the Student Association.
So is this fair? I’d say no. After talking to the Rugby Team last week and hearing the number of injuries their teammates go through, it’s ridiculous for there to be any restrictions on the skateboarding community because their actions are potentially dangerous. Wake up administration: When a 20-year-old is trying to slide a metal rail at 15 miles per hour, he or she has considered the possibility of injury.
Give the kids back their boxes, rails and ramps and just let them skate.