Wellesley College is among a growing number of higher education institutions telling students to leave those new hoverboards that they might have picked up over the holidays at home.
According to a statement on Wellesley College’s website:
The use, possession, or storage of Hoverboards and similar devices, are prohibited on the Wellesley College campus until safety standards can be developed and implemented by the manufacturers.
An Associated Press story this week reports that more than 30 colleges and universities have banned or restricted hoverboards on campus in recent weeks, citing the potential for falls, collisions and yes, fires. Of course, a lot of those students wouldn’t be able to get their hoverboards to campus anyway since the major airlines have banned people from bringing them on board.
The fires in these two-wheeled self-balancing scooters are being caused by poor quality lithium-ion batteries. Big retailers like Target and Amazon have stopped or cut back sales of at least certain hoverboards of questionable quality.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is also on the case, looking into the root cause of hoverboard dangers, and US Marshals busted a Chinese outfit showing off one-wheeled hoverboards/scooters at the big CES tech show in Vegas this week.
SNL is on the case, too:
I’ve reached out to Babson College, Wellesley Public Schools and Dana Hall as well on this topic. Dana Hall School says the issue hasn’t come up yet there. David Lussier, WPS superintendent, says “This really hasn’t become an issue for us yet. I think parents are using good common sense and ensuring that they are not coming to school.”
And indeed, we have communicated with a couple of parents whose boys have hoverboards, and they say the kids have not taken them to school.
We do know of at least one Babson dean, though, who can at least address the topic with some authority. He tooled around on a hoverboard back in October, before everyone got so fired up about these gadgets.