Slacklines and hammocks have been banned on campus, per an interim policy released last Friday.
Slacklining is limited to designated areas and may only be temporarily affixed to university-installed poles while in use, according to Section 334.1.3 of campus facilities policies. Hammocks are now banned outright.
However, there are no set plans to install these poles, which concerns software engineering sophomore Maxwell Taylor.
“Supposedly they’re going to designate areas and build slackline poles,” Taylor said. “Or are they? I don’t know. That’s what they’ve said, but I haven’t seen any definitive plan or money set aside for the school to do that. So while they wrote it into the policy, if that never happens and they don’t ever fund building the poles, it’s essentially the same thing as banning it altogether.”
The policy also regulates maximum height of slacklines and specifically prohibits stunts, tricks or flips — “extremely unsafe activities.”
According to Taylor, there were no previous regulations for slacklines on campus.
“If the university really wanted to have a specific policy, I would really urge them to consider amending the policy to allow slacklining in a reasonable way, as well as hammocking,” Taylor said.
The policy states that the requirements have been put in place for community safety and to protect university property. Administrators were unable to comment over the weekend, as university arborist and director of facilities operations Scott Loosley is out of town until November 6. An update will be provided upon his return.
Mechanical engineering senior Carter Wilson, founder and president of the Cal Poly Hammock Club, said there is no justification for the ban on hammocks.
“I honestly couldn’t believe it at first,” Wilson said. “I was like, what prompted this? I’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for anything on campus or anyone getting talked to.”
According to Wilson, hammocks did not previously have any on-campus regulations.
“It seems like they just kind of tagged hammocks onto the end of it,” Wilson said. “It kind of came out of nowhere, like I feel like it went really quickly from being a draft to being interim. And there wasn’t any reasoning, we never got contacted or anything.”
Wilson said the club trains its members on how to pick good supports and tree-friendly hammocks.
“There is potential for people to hang on (trees that are too small), but we educate all our members to make sure it’s at least 5 inches around (and to) always use tree-friendly straps and not rope,” Wilson said. “We make sure they buy webbing to help protect the trees, and make sure (they’re) not going on illegal property or blocking a pathway or stuff like that.”
“Interim policy is still official Cal Poly policy, and (it’s) enforceable by university police,” Taylor said. “I’m hoping that I can figure out a way to change that by meeting with various people in administration.”
Both groups are currently sending emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and to Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President and agricultural business senior Owen Schwaegerle to express their dissatisfaction with the regulations.
The new regulations do not fit Cal Poly’s atmosphere, Wilson said.
“Completely banning it across the board is completely unreasonable, and kind of goes against Cal Poly being an outdoor school,” Wilson said. “I feel like (banning it) across the board doesn’t help anybody.”