The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Why a campus-wide smoking ban just won’t work

When I first came to UW-Eau  Claire, I didn’t know where I’d be able to smoke, or if I’d even be allowed to smoke at all. Walking around campus, I was surprised to see so many people with lit cigarettes.

Last month, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s University Senate voted in favor of a resolution that would ban
tobacco from campus.

With a vote of 29-22 the University Senate agreed with the resolution that stated “the use of tobacco and tobacco products be prohibited on all state-owned UWEC campus properties.”

Really now, what are the official smoking rules of the UWEC campus? I still don’t know. If you want students to be respectful smokers, the rules should be made clear.
C’mon, Eau Claire. You are kind of sending mixed signals. Ashtrays line the walking paths around campus, yet cigarette smokers aren’t supposed to be there.

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The two designated smoking areas I can think of on lower campus are located right in front of the doors of Schneider and the library. Why are the only actual smoking spots on campus just outside the doors of buildings that hundreds of people use everyday?

Things aren’t working the way they are now, but a campus wide ban would only make things worse.

Keeping the whole campus smoke-free would be such a hassle. Campus would have to be almost constantly monitored, because even now people are breaking the smoking rules currently in place. Students don’t smoke in designated smoking areas either out of a lack of care or just plain confusion as to where the designated smoking areas are.
So, who would be monitoring the students, faculty, and staff who smoke? Will the campus police be given the job of patrolling campus all day searching for stray smokers? It’s not likely. Would the university have to hire someone else to do cigarette patrols? That would be a waste of time, money and energy.

A better solution would be to create designated smoking areas that are away from too much foot traffic, away from the Children’s Center and away from the front doors of buildings.

While there are currently ashtrays all over campus, they are scattered in areas where people aren’t supposed to smoke. If all these ashtrays were removed, it wouldn’t stop people from smoking on campus. Instead, there would be more cigarette butts on the ground.

So, instead of removing the ashtrays, why not move them to places that don’t see heavy foot traffic?

With all the construction that will be going on for the next several years, I can’t imagine it would be too difficult to reserve a little bit of the already planned green space that would otherwise not serve much purpose. If the plan is to reconstruct nearly all of lower campus, why not do so with all students in mind? Because, let’s face it: some people smoke.

If a campus-wide smoking ban were to be in place, it would create unrest in students and faculty who want to smoke. Forcing those who are part of the UWEC community to hide in their cars that are no doubt parked halfway across campus when they want to smoke isn’t really fair.

And what about the students who live on campus without cars? If the UWEC campus became entirely smoke-free, it wouldn’t surprise me if more people opted out of living in the dorms.

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Why a campus-wide smoking ban just won’t work