By Cierra Dubinsky
Moped season is once again coming to a close; however, this has yet to discourage at least one student who, despite numerous efforts, has been denied his request for the UNH Moped Club to become an organization recognized by the university.
Chris Plankey, a junior at UNH, submitted a request form through Wildcat Link two times in the past 6 months and has been unsuccessful to this point. He recently received an email from Nate Hastings, the coordinator of student organizations and leadership, who “consulted with University Counsel” but felt there were too many “liability concerns” to approve it as a student organization. The email also stated “these concerns would make the day to day functioning of this proposed organization extremely cumbersome to say the least.”
Although his efforts have yet to produce results, Plankey remains fervent about getting the club recognized.
“I want to establish a community of people who know and care about mopeds; giving this club a title would really unify us,” said Plankey. “I have found through other endeavors that doing things without proper affiliation can lead to trouble.”
So what exactly would being in this club entail? According to Plankey, anyone with a moped will be able to join, and the group would take organized weekly joy rides through campus. He also hopes to set up “charity rides,” similar to what motorcycle clubs do.
“Not only could we do things for a good cause, but it would be a great way to meet people,” said Jesse Vaughan, a junior at UNH and moped club devotee. “I want to be able to wave to my fellow moped riders!”
It is clear that the moped culture at UNH is on the rise. According to Marc Laliberte, program manager for the Parking & Transit center, the university has issued 268 moped permits as of Oct. 1 2015. Last year, they had only issued 171. The number of moped owners on campus is growing rapidly, which is what sparked Plankey’s idea.
“Every moped lot on campus is always full,” he said. “It’s awesome to see how much it’s grown. Why not give this large culture a sense of community?”
Plankey’s next step is to meet with Hastings to review the liability concerns so he will be able to submit another request: “I definitely understand the liability concerns, but we would be more than willing to follow whatever requirements are put in place. I’m going to attempt to convince the board and get their permission.”
He is currently in the process of making the meeting happen.