Lewis & Clark’s Skate Collective has been trying to find safe ways to create space for skateboarders on campus during the coronavirus pandemic. One of its members, Peter Loizeaux ’23, wants to do this by installing a quarter pipe on campus.
Caroline Arnis ’22 founded the club last year with two former LC students, Freya Kargard and Mac Cornish. They wanted to provide a sense of community for skaters, as well as accommodate those historically left out of the skating world.
“There’s not a lot of space within the skating community for women, nonbinary folks or genderqueer folks,” Arnis said. “I wanted to found the group with an emphasis on giving space to people in communities that are under-served.”
However, the club is facing a new challenge. COVID-19 prevents many members from safely carpooling, a main function of the club in the past. The collective has an Instagram group chat members use to coordinate times to skate. According to Arnis, this group chat is still active, with at least one message every day to set up times to skate.
Skate Collective is more restricted to on-campus activity than in previous years. The club cites this as a problem given the amount of cobblestone on campus and the lack of spaces to skate.
“Being on campus, we’re limited to the spaces here,” Loizeaux said. “That’s mostly the basketball court. We have a couple of little things set up there for us to mess around on, but definitely not much space.”
Because of the limited areas on campus, Loizeaux wants to either build or buy a quarter pipe for skaters on campus. Louizeaux estimates this would cost at least $100. Last year he brought his own rail to campus, which is located on the basketball court near Hartzfeld resident hall. This would also be the ideal place for the new quarter pipe.
“We’re not really supposed to be going off-campus,” Loizeaux said. “We want more things on campus to escape, so we were talking about either buying or building a quarter pipe.”
Arnis supports the efforts to have a quarter pipe on campus, though Arnis and Loizeaux think the likelihood of it happening is low due to liability concerns, such as injuries, from the college.
Arnis said she has been skating less during the pandemic, though during the summer she did go in the morning when fewer people were in the park. It has been the opposite for Loizeaux who said he has been skating more.
“It’s almost made me skate more, just because I feel the need to get out of the house more,” Loizeaux said. “It doesn’t limit spaces too much, just because most parks are outdoors, and you can generally avoid people pretty well.”
Arnis views the collective as a loose organization where the individual projects and desires of the members can be met.
“I like that style of collectively just doing what you can when you can, and giving people the autonomy on their own in the group to really do what they want,” Arnis said. “There’s no structural hierarchy, and that’s what I like about the group.”