Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It is about health and safety

Skateboard hits ankle

It is about safety and health and not alternative transportation
In my opinion the recent change, by university president Don Kassing, to adopt a policy that allows the use of skateboards, razors and bicycles in the campus interior has the goal to encourage alternative transportation. This is good, in principle. But, I think this administration has been a bit too quick to decide and has let health and safety take a back seat to lofty goals and "good" principles. The end does not justify the means.

On the morning of Feb. 20, 2008 I was outside of Clark Hall taking pictures in the rain. A skateboarder scooted by and then he slipped and fell in front of me. His skateboard shot across the concrete and hit a pedestrian in the ankle. It was a glancing blow. The pedestrian was not injured. The fact nobody was hurt, this time, is not the point. It could have been more serious. What if the skateboard had hit a pedestrian more squarely? What if the pedestrian had been elderly or disabled. What if the pedestrianhad tripped and been injured? That, in my opinion is what this is about. This is about the assumption of unneeded risk by the university and exposing the campus population to danger for the sake of lofty goals and "good" principles.

For employees, the university is a work place. Employees are entitled by law (and contract) to a safe work environment. Students are entitled to a safe campus. Folks with disabilities are entitled to have a university that is not made inaccessible by dangers, obstacles and trip hazards. Tax payers are entitled to have state agencies not take unnecessary risks and exposure to lawsuit for the sake of pursuing lofty goals and "good" principles.

Skateboarder is helped up

[Click here to see more related photographs]

[Copy of Grievance Here]

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