Scooters have always been a popular way to get around Andover, but they have emerged as especially so among this year’s Junior class. What many scooter owners, especially Juniors, have found, however, is that having a scooter often comes with the risk of people who want the scooters for themselves.
In an interview with The Phillipian, Sofia Cordover ’21 shared her experience.
“[My scooter] was locked in front of Gelb. The lock was through the wheel and attached to the bike rack. And I went to class and I came back and the scooter was not there, but the lock was sitting on the ground,” said Cordover.
Cordover said the potential of someone mistaking their scooter for hers would have been impossible, ruling out the possibility of someone just having picked the wrong one.
“You could not have taken the lock off the scooter without clearly seeing my name, which is on a sticker on the scooter,” Cordover said.
Reimi Kusaka ’21 had a similar experience with her scooter. Kusaka’s scooter was taken just a few days after purchase.
“[Some people] thought it was just okay to take the scooter without permission. So for a couple days, it was gone… and it didn’t come back for at least two or three days. Then, it was completely gone for a week after,” said Kusaka.
Thomas Conlon, Director of Public Safety, said, “Well, for the most part, the scooters get ‘borrowed’ because you can’t lock them up. I mean, you can, but there’s not really a way to do it. Most people just drop them off where they’re going and that’s it. But, the majority of the time, let’s say 99.9 percent of the time, someone just uses them to get to another point of campus and they just leave them there.”
Despite the alleged theft of their scooters, Cordover and Kusaka found their scooters last Sunday, November 5, though not in the places they last left them and not in their original conditions.
Cordover said, “[Kusaka] texted me and… she said that she found my scooter with her scooter… on the same bike rack in front of Foxcroft. And when she brought them back, I saw that mine was completely covered in duct tape which can’t be taken off. It’s obvious that whoever took it knew that they were taking someone else’s scooter.”
Cordover also feels that the scooter culture is specific to the Junior Class and that Juniors’ attraction to scooters may be the driving factor behind the theft.
“Well, everybody obviously makes fun of us for having scooters. We know that you think we’re weird, and we think we’re weird too… Scooters are meant for like six-year-olds, not ninth graders. So we look ridiculous riding around in packs with these bright blue Razor scooters to and from class every day. It just looks weird and we know that. But that still doesn’t give you justification to take our scooters, just because you think it’s weird,” said Cordover.
Marcus Lee ’21 has a different outlook regarding his scooter being taken. He’s more optimistic towards whoever took his scooter, hoping they didn’t intend any harm but instead possibly wanted to take advantage of the benefits that comes with a scooter.
“Possibly, there’s a lot of scooters on campus, so a lot of people get it mixed and confused. I hope that it was mistakenly [taken]. I don’t want anyone stealing anything because that’s just bad, and if they did steal it then you know who you are… I’m [an international student], so I can’t get a bike because it’s too big to carry. And scooters are also like pretty cheap relative to a bike. It’s also transportation, gets you places faster,” said Lee.
In terms of advice for students hoping to prevent theft of their scooters, Conlon offered this:
“Scooters are hard. As I said, trying to lock them up, you’re not going to carry a cable around to lock them up. You’re not supposed to take them in the buildings. I know some, they can wrap up pretty small. I’ve seen some students put them in their backpacks and so forth, if they’re small enough. But around here it’s really tough, so you have to just wish everyone leaves everyone’s property alone.”