The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

STFUpdate: Tobacco, Fines and You

As of September 1st, UO campus and all University owned property are now tobacco and smoke-free. In my previous post, I wrote that DPS will not be issuing tickets or fines to enforce this ridiculous, hot-air, self-back-patting policy. I cited an old Commentator post as having this information. The policy must have been updated since that post, however, because upon actually reading the policy’s representative website and Oregon Administrative Rule 571-050-0005, I have realized that the policy is exceptionally vague. According to OAR, emphasis my own:

(2) Prohibitions. […] An employee who violates this rule may be subject to discipline. A student who violates this rule may be subject to sanction under the Student Conduct Code.

(3) Citation  and Appeals. Anyone else who violates this rule may be issued a citation for thirty dollars ($30). Any complaints about citations issued or appeal of an issued citation may be directed to the Vice President for Finance and Administration or that person’s designee. […]

So there are the luke-warm, mushy facts. I find a lot of things wrong with this smoking ban. However, new concerns have risen in my mind regarding the inconsistent treatment of violators. Why is it not simply a $30 fine for any and all offenders? Employees are subject to “discipline”, students to “sanction” and “anyone else” to a monetary citation. A ban on personal choice is dangerous enough in itself, but when offenders are divided into categories and issued varying forms of punishment according to their place in society, where do we draw the line of that healthy dosage of discrimination?

Does anybody else find it hard to appreciate vaguely defined rules and regulations? It must be so inherently difficult to regulate the personal choices of an individual that do not affect others in any direct way, that the law must be made to be just as difficult to comprehend, so that police officers can be as vague as possible in their interpretation and enforcement of the law.

As I am told, people who aren’t students don’t need to pay University parking tickets issued on or around campus if the ticket was written by a DPS officer. I am not sure if it is true, but it seems that they only have jurisdiction those who need to have their term grades issued. If this is indeed true, then we can safely assume that if approached by a DPS officer when smoking tobacco on campus, one has no inclination or obligation to give their name, nor accept a citation of any kind from the officer. In such a situation, I would politely deny knowledge of the policy and simply walk away.

Let us not allow this culture of non-acceptance to take hold. Let us peacefully protest this ridiculous policy by continuing to smoke in the open air, where particles are free to dissipate into the atmosphere at the will of their own, not that of the Administration and the back-patting little campus personalities that find it necessary to protect and educate us. “Healthier campus”, my ass.

I appreciate any updates, clarifications or comments from readers.

  1. Picasa Tucasa says:


    I guess that means you don’t support Abortion and Gay Marriage. Both of those issues impact the bulk of people…

    Always wanted to throw that back in a liberal nazi-saluter’s face.

  2. anonymous says:

    “the personal choices of an individual that do not affect others in any direct way”?

    This is simply laughable. The overwhelming majority of non-smokers on campus gave smokers many chances to behave themselves. We posted polite signs asking you to stand away from doorways. You didn’t do it; you insisted on standing in front of the doorways, creating a toxic cloud of smoke that non-smokers were forced to walk through to get into buildings (and wafting smoke through open windows and doors…).

    We placed receptacles for cigarette butts all over campus. You insisted on throwing your butts on the ground, creating unsightly litter that washes into local waterways.

    Freedom. That’s right, this is about freedom. I finally have the freedom to walk around my workplace without inhaling toxic fumes and seeing litter everywhere. And I won’t even get into the increased absenteesism of smokers (my co-workers, whose work I need to do — for no additional pay — when they are absent), increased health insurance costs (reducing my wages), and other ways in which YOUR personal choices affected me in DIRECT WAYS.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.