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Set scooters free

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, October 11, 2007

You’ve seen them on the quad. They look like so much fun to ride, and you may have even fantasized about driving one. I’m referring to the bright red scooters that students with temporary mobility problems use. I’m writing this letter because, recently, I have been one of those students on a scooter. After I fractured my tibia and sprained my ankle during a game of touch football, I was put on crutches for six weeks until the bone heals. I was very thankful that the University provides, free of charge, the use of the scooter for up to two months.

Things weren’t looking so bad, but then I realized that one little detail made a huge difference. I live off campus. The scooters are not allowed to go off campus. I must store it in a friend’s dorm and then arrange for someone to pick me up, even though I live only two blocks away from the edge of campus.

I understand the liability of taking the scooter off campus. If I were to injure myself while on the scooter and off campus, I could theoretically sue the University because I was using their scooter. But why not have me sign a waiver, or a whole series of waivers? And if anything happens to the scooter – if it is stolen or damaged – I will need to pay for it: This is already the policy. So why punish those who get injured and live off campus? Why not allow us to drive the scooter home?

The scooter idea is a great one and a credit to our University, but why not extend it to help as many students as possible?

Chris Spellman


off campus

Oct. 10