To the Westfield State University Campus Community:
Promoting and ensuring the safety of our students, faculty, staff and other community members is a paramount concern at Westfield State University. With that in mind, we are writing to inform you of an important timely clarification to University policy.
On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into the safety of hoverboards (also known as smart boards or self-balancing boards). The CPSC was responding to dozens of reports of hoverboards catching fire — some while charging, others during use. As of January 6, the CPCS says, “it is investigating reports of 28 hoverboard-related fires in 19 states and 70 ER-related injuries and counting.”
While we appreciate that hoverboards were a popular gift this holiday season, we feel that the risk of fire makes it necessary to ban them from our campus until further notice.
This ban prohibits the use, possession, or storage of all hoverboards in Westfield State University residence halls and apartments, academic buildings, all other campus buildings, campus grounds, and other off-campus properties controlled by the University. Any such devices must be kept at an off-campus location.
With guidance from the Massachusetts State College Building Authority, which owns the residence halls and sets policy regarding student housing, the nine Massachusetts state universities have either already or are in process of implementing hoverboard bans. Furthermore, other colleges and universities across the across the country as well as airlines, major cities, and other organizations, have enacted similar bans due to these serious safety concerns.
This is an emerging issue that will be reconsidered once more information and better safety standards for all models of these devices are in place. In the meantime, this ban will remain in effect until further notice.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and encourage you to please spread the word about this important safety issue.
We hope this holiday season and winter break has been uplifting for you and your family and look forward to seeing you when classes resume in two weeks.
Carlton Pickron, Ed.D
Vice President for Student Affairs