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Slacklines on Campuses
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Partner slacklinejoe


Nov 26, 2003, 3:35 PM
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Slacklines on Campuses
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To all of those college students or grads who have slacklined on campuses, I was curious if you guys had ever had the grounds department/administration put a damper on your play time?

I go to SMSU and they have always fine with it; that is until today, when I was asked to take it down till I got permission. They wanted me to get it approved with their head honcho to make sure I wasn't damaging the trees and such.

Before I talk to them on Monday, anyone else have a campus say yes or no to slacklining between their trees? I know some parks require tree friendlies, which I totally agree with, but has any of them just said "no"?

I was planning on volunteering to teach workshops on campus for slacklining next spring though the Student Activity Counsel so that might all be on hold at the moment, we'll see.


gyngve


Nov 26, 2003, 4:00 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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We don't ask for permission... nor do we announce it anywhere. No one in admin has noticed. I imagine though, if the wrong person were to walk by, they'd yell at us. But they'd be concerned about lawsuits from people getting hurt, not about the trees' health.


micronut


Nov 26, 2003, 4:03 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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I've had a line up all semester at the Organic Farm on campus at Pomona College. Few people even realize it's there and even fewer know what it's for.


Partner slacklinejoe


Nov 26, 2003, 4:32 PM
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Well, it's not like we announce it or anything either. Usually I get off work and pick whatever length I feel up to and pick some trees and make some calls. I just usually end up with a crowd anywhere me and my friends set up a line. I'd been setting up lines about every night for the last 2 weeks. I guess I should have been more descrete than a 75' line across one of the main courtyards, but even then about 30 of the grounds keepers had went by before anyone said anything, most of them stopped and said it was awesome.

I am however wanting to go through legit channels for next Spring to actually get workshop classes to sign up for and all just like we do for rock climbing, sky diving, paint ball and knitting.

I was kind of hoping for "Xyz campus has allowed it as a campus recreational sport..." but I doubt I'll find it.


elcapbuzz


Nov 26, 2003, 5:00 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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It's a classic case: Most people (especially if they're responsible for the Campus) are going be skeptical about slacklines. Mainly because they have never seen anything like it before. They're used to making decisions year-after-year with out thinking about it because the same issues (most of the time) arrive, year-after-year.

This is new, so it's hard to categorize it..... like we humans are programed to do.

Well, the good news is.... Slacklining isn't going anywhere. accommodations will be met, sooner or later.

Cheers, Ammon


iltripp


Nov 26, 2003, 6:14 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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When you talk to the people at the University, figure out what their concern is, safety or the trees. If it's trees, you can cite the fact that Yosemite National Park more or less allows slacklines as long as they have tree-friendlies. If a NP doesn't consider it harmful to trees, why should some University. If it's safety, maybe you can find some stats about safety on slacklines. Maybe you should just give them a demo and let them see that it's not only safe, but really friggin cool.


Partner slacklinejoe


Nov 26, 2003, 9:09 PM
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Given the fact we have repelling walls on campus, student sponsored sky diving, scuba, archery/rifle/pistol team, white river rafting and such... I'm not too sure they can say too terribly much on safety if they get comparitive..

I can safely say I can find a lot more dangerous things on campus to do than walk a loose line a few feet up over soft grass.

They even have 40' reppelling walls in the open, with nothing blocked off to keep people off of them. I haven't hard of anyone hooking up just for the fun of it, but nothng is there to stop them. If it hadn't been for the money crunch we'd have our own climbing wall.. damn recession.

Oh well, I think if I go through the proper channals, bring in the gear w/ tree friendlies, explain how much pressure is exerted and how close to the ground we are and how we always enforce spotters on newbies; I doubt they'll have too much problem with it. We're a pretty liberal campus when it comes down to it and the administration has approved some rather odd stuff before. I think it'll go over, especially if I can get a club to organize a slacklining class on campus for next Spring (I'm about the only local nut willing to slackline when it's cold).

Edit: In retrospect I might even be able to convince them to add permanant slackline poles in some of the unused park-ish areas around the repelling walls if they don't want me using trees. We have rockclimbing classes on campus (they go to the local rock gym to climb) plus the ROTC uses a lot of stuff like that. Hmmm....


alvchen


Nov 26, 2003, 9:26 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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Well last year we set one up in front of the library with about 4 or 5 people, then Campus Safety rolls up. The dude just sits in his car watching for a good 5-10 minutes, then asks what we are doing. We explained it and I even offered him a try on it. Eventually he told us to take it down, so we did, and moved it to another part of campus.

For some kind of club fair, they actually allowed us to have it set up, unfortunately our club table was too far away from trees or any other short of anchor for us to set one up.


ryanpfleger


Nov 26, 2003, 10:40 PM
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Talk to your Campus Recreation Department, you can usually find at least a few people in the administration who are climbers or something who would put in a good word for you.

Ryan


Partner slacklinejoe


Dec 4, 2003, 12:42 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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I just thought I'd share my results after talking with our grounds department here at SMSU.

SMSU is now officially a slackline friendly campus. 8)

Required:
When organizing a big slackline session with lots of people, call grounds a day or so in advance so they can make sure your not hooking on trees they know have problems such as termites or have lots of dead limbs overhead.

Next time it warms up about 1/2 the crew wants to learn how (or at least try) to slackline, yes I'm serious :D

Prefered but not required:
Use tree friendlies, especially on trees you'll knock bark off of. (We always use them, but they didn't want to make it a hard and fast rule that we have to have them.)

I'm now organizing regular slackline sessions for next spring through the campus recreation. We've got tons of trees, all lengths apart you'd want. If I want I can even get funding for refreshments and such.


dyno2finish


Dec 8, 2003, 9:17 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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Just curious, what does SMSU stand for? I might need your argument someday that such and such university allows it...


ksudyno


Dec 8, 2003, 10:36 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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Hey I go to KSU (Which beat the hell out of OU) and I got the same problem too. What I do is the grounds crew stops work around 5 so after 5 that’s when I bring out the slack line, also rotate trees often so you don’t rip off the bark, I tried using little carpet strips as tree savers and that works pretty well, put the soft side to the bark. Every time I do get caught they tell me I have to get permission, KSU is a very conservative school, so that would be impossible even though slack lining is not even close as dangerous as a rough game of B-Ball, they also think that every climber is like the climber dud in “Cliff Hanger”, God I hate that movie but that’s a hole new forum.


Partner slacklinejoe


Dec 9, 2003, 4:53 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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SMSU = Southwest Missouri State University -- Depending on if the law passes this year it'll be Missouri State University. It's actually the second biggest school in the state so don't let the name throw ya, we're still 25,000 students strong. Only a few hundred behind MU (Missouri University).

Here's what I did, I called to talk to the grounds department to get permission for the tree. I didn't bother addressing the safety concerns since my campus is pretty lenient about that. I'd still recommend getting grounds permission first though you can appeal the safety stuff but it's unlikely the grounds guys would change their mind. Don't try going over their head first, that's a last resort - many people don't like it when you don't go through proper channels.

I put together a word document with some quick facts to help them understand what Slacklines are about. I kept it simple, but clear. See:
http://www.slacklineexpress.com/information.htm The document is at the bottom of the photo. I just kind of shoved it there since I didn't have time to work it into the site design. It includes quick facts and some basic photos.

Don't try to do this over the phone, take the time to set up a meeting in advance, take a tree sling & tree friendly just to show them it's soft. The grounds crew will be very oriented to saving the trees; emphasis that. With the safety guys, empasis that there are no documented fatalities in the sport and injuries are very rare. I get hurt more playing frisbee.

As for references: I work for SMSU (that's my day job) as a web consultant. If you want, have your campus or grounds crew call my office 417-836-6056

We had two arborists approve the slacklines and it'll soon be an official campus rec sport.


bigdski


Dec 11, 2003, 8:45 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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We set one up at Texas A&M just about every day when the weather is nice, and as far as I know nobody has ever been asked to stop (we've got about three different groups of folks who will set them up). We just get a lot of the usual "what are you doing" and "why"... We've also had people come take pics of us two or three times for local newspapers and stuff.


thegodfather


Dec 11, 2003, 9:37 PM
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i go to a small christian school in the chicago area, and they have "officially" allowed slacklining as a recreational sport, only catch is, it cant be set above head level...no problem right? im 6'5, so we always set it at my head level...not the weenie guys'.


givemeshorebreak


Dec 11, 2003, 10:13 PM
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Re: Slacklines on Campuses [In reply to]
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Hey, here's another college that officially allows slacklining:
Westmont College in Santa Barbara. I set up a 100' line running about 8 ft. high right across the administration building front lawn. The head of campus security came out and watched for a bit, took some digital pictures, then went back inside. I talked to him later and he asked me not ot set it up that high again until he got back to me. He had sent the pics to the college insurance broker to see about the liability. I talked to him later and he said it was no problem so long as we kept it safe.
We haven't been stopped by security since.


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