Casey Millstein is not constantly hopped up on Mountain Dew. She doesn't punctuate every sentence with "dude." And she doesn't see every set of concrete stairs as an invitation to bust out a four-wheeled trick.
In other words, Millstein is not the type of skateboarder you think she is.
Millstein, a Kansas University senior, has started an effort to change a city ordinance that greatly restricts skateboarding on the KU campus. She says the ordinance needs to be relaxed to allow for college students like herself to use skateboards as an easy way to get around the campus.
"We're not junior high kids looking for something to do after school," Millstein said. "I just want to get around campus. I don't do all that other stuff because I've figured out it hurts when you fall. I don't want to fall."
KU officials, though, aren't convinced. Lynn Bretz, KU's director of university communications, said KU leaders believe that skateboarding and the 27,000 students and faculty who walk the campus each day don't mix.
"We're a pedestrian-oriented campus," Bretz said. "The primary concern has to be the safety of pedestrians."
In 1990, a Kansas University student received a concussion and laceration when she was struck in the head by a flying skateboard after an 11-year-old skateboarder lost control while doing a trick near Wescoe Hall.
Bretz said the university also has suffered significant damage over the years related to skateboarding, including broken plate-glass windows and more than $1,000 in damage to concrete stairs.
Millstein is going through City Hall rather than Strong Hall to change the regulations. The ordinance that prohibits skateboarding within 1,000 feet of Jayhawk Boulevard is actually a city ordinance so that police officers can write tickets that can be prosecuted in Municipal Court.
Millstein - who has been stopped by police seven times during the last four years for riding on campus - said she thinks a new ordinance could be written in a way that would allow skateboards to be used only for transportation on the campus. Police officers, under her proposal, still could issue a ticket if they saw an individual jumping off stairs, "grinding" down a handrail or riding out of control, for example.
"I just want to use it to get to class," said Ashley Rinella, another KU senior who is working with Millstein on the issue. "I'm not going to try a bunch of things on it. It is just a fun way to get around. It helps me want to get out the door of a morning."
Millstein's proposal will be forwarded to the city's Traffic Safety Advisory Board, although a date for the board to hear the issue hasn't been set.
Interim City Manager David Corliss said the city would want to have a meeting with KU administrators before making any changes to the ordinance.
The city ordinance - which carries a maximum fine of $30 - also prohibits skateboarding in downtown Lawrence. Millstein isn't currently asking for any changes to be made to that part of the ordinance.