Steve's Corner: To encourage biking, we lose the helmets
There is always an action and then a reaction. The pendulum goes one way and then swings 180 degrees the other way.
In the last year, we have seen the helmet rule come into place and later be turned into a policy. Helmets in the beginning were never a requirement when riding. But last spring the school saw it necessary to employ a hemet rule because we were one of the only schools in the area without one. This caused Proctor to create the rule that stated: "Anyone riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard for any purpose must wear a helmet".
The creation of this rule had an unexpected result. Instead of everyone wearing their helmets while riding, people stopped riding as much. By pressuring people to wear helmets, we discouraged them from riding bikes. Campus was instantaneously less lively. People were no longer seen enjoying themselves by participating in the completely normal and sage activity of biking from point A to point B.
Early this spring things changed. With demand for riding approaching its peak with warm weather coming, student leadership saw an opportunity to try and make history by proposing a change to the helmet rule. The team of Stephen (myself), Jordan, Domi, and Jamie worked with Dean of Students Drew Donaldson to design an appropriate proposal.
When the proposal was ready, Drew and Jordan presented it to the faculty for a vote. After intense discussion, the faculty called for a vote and the proposal was passed. As it reads, the proposal states that : "People do not have to wear their helmets when traveling from point A to B. People must wear their helmets though if they wish to do any tricks, maneuvers or stunts. Also students are not allowed to ride their boards and scooters across Route-11 (bikes being an exception)."
As you can see, people have been tremendously happy with the change in the rule. Biking is again something that a normal person can do. You just get on a bike and you go. The campus has been turned back into a lively place, where students and faculty are riding around and playing outdoors. Most students who still want to participate in doing tricks and maneuvers wear their helmets.
As always though, while most students honor the policy, there are the few rebels who do not. Some students still do not wear helmets and as a result if they are caught doing stunts, they get their bike, skateboard, or scooter confiscated for an extended period of time.
Regardless of the future, students and faculty at the moment are getting exercise, enjoying being outside, and traveling faster.