The wheel deal with rolling backpacks and student opinion


by J.T. Buchheit

News Editor

Many students at the college use rolling backpacks in the hallways. These can be irksome to some, who often prefer people just carry their backpacks. One student believes his peers have outgrown such materials.

Photo by Andrew Hartnett.
Photo by Andrew Hartnett.

“That’s middle school stuff,” said Jimmy Beaird. “I mean, if it’s a rolling backpack for nurses or people like that, or if you have like three backpacks I guess it’s all right, but if you’re just going to have one backpack, I wouldn’t get a rolling backpack.”

There are also students who loathe rolling backpacks with a passion, often citing the noise and space taken up by the objects as reasons.

“I can’t stand them,” said student Logan O’Brien. “They’re just so noisy and annoying. Like, is that loud enough for you?”

Some people use rolling backpacks because conventional ones would cause too much pain. Tony Arling, student, said students at the college facing physical limitations may struggle to carry a conventional backpack.

“It helps with back pain,” said Arling. “I get a lot of back pain because of carrying around a backpack my whole life, and I’ve done manual labor before.”

The main reason for these backpacks, however, is the potentially heavy workload and large amount of textbooks many students are forced to lug around.

“I would say that it’s more for people who are in a lot of classes and have a lot of big textbooks and they can’t carry all that weight on their backs.” said student Jackson Rohlfing. “For people like me, who are only in two classes that have textbooks, I can withstand the weight of a backpack, so just carrying it around like that is perfectly fine with me.”

Despite the benefit of less weight, these backpacks can also have disadvantages. Those who have rolling backpacks may face obstacles those with conventional backpacks don’t have problems with.

“You can’t take the stairs, because then you have to carry it all the way up,” said student Andrea Martin. “So you basically have to take the elevator everywhere you go. So that’s kind of a disadvantage because if you’re in a rush, you’re like, ‘Oh my God. I ran, and now I’m here waiting for the elevator.’”

According to Dr. Cara Barone in an article for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation website, the ideal backpack should be 10 to 20 percent of the person’s body weight. Many students carry a heavier load than that but are used to it.

“I haven’t used a rolling backpack since I was a little girl,” said student Karli McCluskey. “But a rolling backpack would probably make it easier on my back and my shoulders.”

There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of backpack, but most students are comfortable with the type they have chosen despite what negativities may come with it.


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