Trash the Ash at ESU

"No Smoking" sign located outside of Stroud Hall. Photo Credit / Crystal Smith
"No Smoking" sign located outside of Stroud Hall. Photo Credit / Crystal Smith
“No Smoking” sign located outside of Stroud Hall.
Photo Credit / Crystal Smith

By Anonymous

Burgy zones signify areas near building entrances where smoking is off-limits. These zones have been around for years, but have people actually been obeying this rule?

In 2013, the red lines were repainted, due to fading, and paw prints were added to signify Burgy’s feet.

The repainting was initiated by President Marcia Welsh, who was just newly in charge. She has publicly supported the campaign for a smoke-free campus, even going as far as tweeting and retweeting about this issue.

The goal for a smoke-free college campus is a high climb. However, the goal for a campus where students actually obey rules for limited smoking is within our reach.

A way to enforce the Burgy zone rule is to remove ashtrays and benches from the area. For example, Laurel Hall has benches and ashtrays just outside its entrance, and inside the Burgy zone. The benches are a common place for smokers.

If the benches were actually moved outside of the lines and against the quad, smokers would be less likely to smoke so close to the doors. When people smoke this close, the smell and smoke come into the building’s lobby, and can be irritating to nonsmokers.

Campus police officers, who regularly walk the campus, should actually enforce the restricted smoking rules. They are pretty liberal in assigning parking tickets, so why not assign smoking fees? This would definitely deter smokers from invading the air around busy entrances.

Another way to encourage smokers to do their business away from busy walkways is to make designated smoking zones.

Many amusement parks offer smoking zones away from high-traffic areas, for example.This would keep the campus cleaner and allow students to smoke without any judgment or looks from nonsmoking students.

The ashtrays need to be emptied more often, and they should be outside of the Burgy zone. This had been addressed to President Welsh via Twitter in November and January, and she has replied, “Will check on ashtrays…dream is smoke-free campus,” and “I couldn’t agree more! Need a movement to make #ESU smoke free!!!”

In January, Alison Beard, the author of Quit or Die Trying, favorited the student’s reply, which featured a picture of the ashtray inside of the Burgy zone. Since then, the ashtray in the tweets has been emptied, but rarely.

The ashtray often gets so overfilled, that students start throwing butts on the ground or in the plants nearby. This is very bad for the wildlife on-campus and also creates a fire hazard.

Groups that participate in the Adopt-A-Block program, such as the Biology Club and Rotaract Club, have seen firsthand how messy this campus gets.

“It is disgusting how many cigarette butts we find on campus during our Adopt-A-Block events. Our club focuses on keeping the environment clean, especially on our own campus. Smokers need to be respectful of other students’ air and the species we have on campus,” an active Biology Club member said.

Allergies raise another concern for the amount of smokers near entrances and high-traffic areas. Many people are allergic or sensitive to many types of smoke, including tobacco smoke.

Often, one must walk through a group of smokers just to get inside a residence hall or class building.

This campus needs to really start taking action! Smokers need to be taught to be respectful. New ways of combating their behavior need to be implemented. Posts supporting a brighter future on social media don’t actually get the job done.

Please start doing something about it! You’re only as good as your bite, no matter how loud your bark is.

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