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Hoverboards Banned On Campus Due To Potential Fire Hazard

Jennifer Elliott ’94, Dean of Students and Residential Life, notified students of a ban on hoverboards, self-balancing scooters and motorized skateboards, in an email sent to the Andover community on Wednesday.

“We have received tragic reports from peer schools and universities, and we are unwilling to risk having these types of accidents and injuries at Andover,” wrote Elliott in the email.

According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, hoverboards are prone to catching on fire.

“It sounds like the fire-safety of the actual battery is the problem. Then we started looking at what our peer schools are doing too in terms of hoverboard policies. [St. Paul’s] sent something out about banning them… [Phillips Exeter Academy] banned them, and [Brooks] too. So basically hearing about them combusting or exploding, that’s basically the biggest issue,” said Elliott.

Elliott observed that hoverboards have not been as popular at Andover as she initially expected.

“[The email] was reactive to what we’ve seen on campus, and more proactive thinking about what’s happening on other campuses. In some ways, I’m actually surprised that more kids didn’t come back with hoverboards,” said Elliott.

Elliott does not know if riding a hoverboard would be dangerous enough to be another cause of concern.

“I don’t think we know enough at this point to know their safety. I think that’s it. So given that this seems to be the policies of a number of campuses, at both universities and schools, it felt like the right thing to do for this interim stretch, if safety can be assured as to whatever extent,” said Elliott.

According to the “Blue Book,” “Boarding students are not permitted to have or to operate any motorized vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, mopeds or motorized scooters, while they are at school.”

Jan 22, 2016