Posted on the back door of the Trahern Building is the sign, “NO SMOKING HERE.” It goes on to say, however, “But since you are going to anyway THROW AWAY YOUR BUTTS (in the trash).”
This notice is posted on an average building on campus, just next to a prime spot for students to smoke without bother.
Currently, smoking is prohibited on campus except for designated locations.
The back door of the Trahern Building is not one of these designated locations.
It is common for students to walk by Trahern on their way to class and catch a whiff of cigarette smoke.
Some students are beginning to wonder why this goes unnoticed, despite breaking a clear anti-smoking policy.
People light up daily in this undesignated area without fear of being reprimanded by the campus police.
“No department should get a pass on any campus rule that is meant for everyone to follow,” said Myranda Harrison, a junior graphic design major.
Harrison is not speaking out against smoking as an issue, but on the issue of equality.
Students who wish to smoke in accordance to school policy travel to the approved smoking sections on the outside edges of campus.
The Trahern sign suggests to smokers that even if the rules are disregarded, the environment is still a concern.
“If they are going to break the rules, they could at least not litter in the process,” said sophomore art major Andrea Bender.
Professors and school staff have given up on trying to force students to stop smoking in that particular spot, and merely ask them to leave a clean space for others in return.
“We’re art students, so we are always rebellious,” said Lisa Weber, a senior art education major and smoker.
Rule breaking is not abnormal on a college campus, but the Trahern smoking section differs from other rebellious acts.
These students are sending a message of peaceful defiance.
Smokers want equal access. But how can it be granted when opinions differ so greatly on the issue?
An anonymous music major said, “I find it really annoying when people are just walking around and smoking when there are designated areas for that. It is disrespectful to those of us who have chosen to take care of our bodies and be smoke free.”
The conflict between those who wish to smoke and those who do not is never ending.
Houston Dickinson, an aspiring nursing major, called the smoking policy “unnecessary.”
“I don’t partake in the libation, but I believe that, should someone wish, an individual should enjoy it,” Dickinson said.
So what is there to be done about the lack of rule enforcement at the back door of Trahern?
Let it be. If someone finds solace or comfort in standing at that particular spot, with or without a cigarette, who are we to judge? Who are we to enforce arbitrary laws?
Clearly these students do not view the smoking policy as much of a threat.
If the campus police decided to crack down on the activity, that would not be up to you or me.
I would hope that no one would call the campus police on me if I were parked in the wrong parking spot.
I do not see the distinction between the two actions.
We, as students, need a little solidarity.
Some believe in freedom of expression, while others hold tight to the rules.
As long as some keep smoking and others continue to abstain, places like the back door of Trahern will exist to provide a haven from oppression. Give us your opinion about smoking outside of Trahern by tweeting us @TheAllState. TAS