Skateboarders need to learn some manners

Adriana Ruvalcaba

Copy Editor

 

Dear CSU Bakersfield’s Skateboarders, I don’t hate you.

But how difficult is it for you to say, “Excuse me” when you skate so closely that I feel a breeze?

Unfortunately, many of you remain silent as you hurdle past us, whereas I, usually holding textbooks and a hot coffee, have to step off the sidewalk and onto the grass for both of our safeties.

Please don’t assume I hate all skateboarders and skateboarding. As someone who lacks balance and talent, I respect the effort it takes to learn and maneuver the way you do. I respect the practice, the functionality, the skill, and many of my earliest school-girl crushes were with skaters.

My real issue is with sharing space. Students and faculty have the right to tread on campus, as long as it does not jeopardize the safety of others.

The problems usually occur on the narrow sidewalks.  I become an obstacle for you, a thing to maneuver around. I write “thing” because that’s how I feel: I feel more like a hurdle and less as a person.

We are both entitled to space, but you shouldn’t feel entitled to extra space while the rest of us deserve the minimum, or in some cases, none.

When you force us off the sidewalk or make us have to walk on the edges, it reinforces the idea that we shouldn’t take up more space than we already do. And speaking for the many of us that populate the marginalized segments of society, we don’t need this reminder when we are walking to class.

On the other hand, I’m not trying to issue a ban on skateboarding.  A little etiquette and common courtesy will suffice.

I understand if you are running late to class or you’re going so fast that to suddenly stop can cause an accident.

An “excuse me” would be nice. Or, if it’s too late, a quick “oh, I’m sorry” would be appreciated. Acknowledging each other’s existences will create a better environment for everyone on campus.

We all have to share the walkways here at CSUB. We can do this without being rude and unsafe.