The View from Here

First I’d like to apologize to the dead horse I’m about to beat. No, it’s not parking. It is in fact smoking. But I’m not here to complain about people blowing smoke in my face while walking through a designated smoking area. I’m here to complain about being pushed around and treated like a second-hand citizen just because I choose to smoke.When will we get some honest recognition? Over the past three and a half years, the health department and the College Council has been drawing and redrawing a smoking policy that no one is ever happy about. The smokers here on campus are continuously singled out, rounded up, and herded out. We’ve been pushed from 20 feet away, to four designated areas with ashtrays, to ashtrays missing from previous designated areas, and have been told the designated areas are in negotiation again. There is even a chance of smoking being banned from the campus altogether. Don’t we have it bad enough constantly being taxed ridiculous amounts of money (which is another topic of its own)? No, we must be forced to move farther away from the rest of the campus and its students, and huddle away with no shelter from the rain and fog so characteristic of the college. What I’ve noticed hence these sudden changes, which have yet to become official, let alone announced, is that the areas where the ashtrays have been removed are now just littered with cigarette butts, because unfortunately, most smokers, unlike me, are too lazy to get up and walk over to the nearest ashtray or garbage receptacle to properly dispose of their butt. Now, I agree that all these butts on the ground are both unhealthy and unattractive, but there are other things littering the ground. Like gum. And not only is gum on the ground unhealthy and unattractive, but it also sticks to your feet, thus spreading its germs further. I propose that if smoking is going to be so restricted, so should gum chewing. And until the smoking policy is finalized, the ashtrays should be returned to the areas previously established.