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More on Smoke-Free Campus

November 15th, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

In watching Scott Zoltan’s video on the smoke-in and smoke-out last week (disclaimer: I am interviewed in the video) and talking to some ASUO folks, I have some new info and thoughts:

1. The smoking ban will be implemented over two years with a full policy coming in fall 2012. In the time up until policy implementation, smokers will not be cited for smoking on campus. However, in two years when the policy goes into effect, there may be citations or another form of punishment.
2. The UO administration is unveiling their tobacco-free campus policy tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16th at 9:45am in the Taylor Lounge in the EMU. At this point I’m not sure what that policy is, but there will be talks by Jim Bean (speaking for UO Admin as Lariviere is in surgery), the President of the American Cancer Society, and potentially the CEO of PacificSource Health Plans. I’ll relay more information about this as I learn more.
3. The grant for the Healthy Campus Initiative was secured by Paula Staight for the UO Health Center. The policy is being implemented by the UO Administration. These projects have been going on for about six years. The Rousseau executive has not made one attempt to talk to students about the policy or ask their input, which would be their only role in the process at all. (Well, I guess they made signs.)
4. Another interesting thing: in this two year period, smoking stations will be taken out. It would not surprise me at all if in two years cigarette litter is a reason cited for following through with an enforceable policy. By any means necessary, right?

From the video:

Zoltan: One of the questions that remains is whether or not the smoke-free campus will be an enforceable policy change or if it will remain a symbolic measure. Some campuses, such as Lane Community College, have given public safety officers the authority to issue citations for smoking.
Rousseau: It’s a possibility. I’m not in favor of it necessarily, because I think that when you can have that peer-to-peer communication and that community enforcement, that’s always going to be better and more positive.
UO President Lariviere: I think the only reason that we haven’t had one before, if I understand correctly, is that people confused a ban with the enforcement of the ban, and there was a fear that we were going to turn ourselves into a police state where where we’re chasing down people with cigarettes or snuff in their pocket. That’s not the case. What we simply want to do is send a message to everybody — faculty, staff, the community that come onto the campus, students, everybody — that tobacco is bad for you. It’ll kill you. And we don’t encourage it, in fact, we discourage it aggressively.* I think the medical evidence is so clear and unambiguous that there isn’t any reason institutionally that we shouldn’t simply make this statement.

*Cue Commentator Staff Writer Rockne Roll, smiling and smoking a cigar.

Rousseau’s comment doesn’t mean anything.

President Lariviere’s comments, however, reads as though the policy will not be enforceable, even in two years time. And if anyone’s going to be around at that time, it will hopefully be him.

With luck, tomorrow’s unveiling/press conference yields more answers than we have now.


LCC Goes Smoke-Free

May 24th, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

Lane Community College has chosen to ban smoking on their main campus, save for four designated smoking stations on the perimeter. The University of Oregon has also been exploring a tobacco-free campus, but have not yet come to a decision on whether, when and how to implement. According to surveys on the LCC campus, the smoking ban has had overwhelming support, but there are some students that are still frustrated with the decision. From the Register-Guard:

Jessica Rainbow, a business major, said the college initially argued that the ban was needed to prevent litter and only changed to a health argument later. She said the move will be hard on students who smoke because they’re already under enough pressure with schoolwork and rising tuition costs.

“There’s just so much stress,” Rainbow said, adding that smoking breaks during her pre-calculus class help her relax and concentrate. “Now I just have to hold it in and hope I don’t freak out on someone.”

“We felt like there was really the need for some accommodation of limited, designated smoking spots on the perimeter,” [Kate Barry, vice president for academic and student affairs at LCC] said. “But that would still mean the people in the core campus were not coming into contact with secondhand smoke.”

Even so, smokers used terms such as “discrimination” and “segregation” in their reactions to the change. They also worry about safety because of all the traffic in the parking lots, and say the smoking areas will be too distant for students who only have a short break between classes.

A survey conducted last year at the University of Oregon by the Smoke-Free Task Force also showed that a large majority of students were in support of mitigating smoking on campus, but the support was focused more towards designated smoking areas rather than a total smoke-free campus. You can find the Smoke-Free Task Force’s report to UO Vice President of Finance and Administration Francis Dyke here.

As the situation stands right now, the logistical questions are too great to really implement any change at the UO. I am of the personal belief that the first step should be to enforce the rules that exist currently — most specifically, City of Eugene ordinance states that there shall be no smoking within 25 feet of an entrance to a public building, and that is most definitely not enforced at the UO.

Incidentally, CJ Ciaramella and I started a student group called the Coalition of On-Campus Smokers (COCS), a group of individuals who are concerned about a smoke-free campus and are looking to implement more practical solutions to the litter problem that on-campus smoking creates. We will be having our third smoke-in and cigarette cleanup on Thursday, May 27 at 1pm in the EMU Amphitheater to protest the decision on the LCC campus. Bring things to smoke — cigars, hookah, cigarettes, pipes, whatever you feel. Let your voice be heard, even if it’s scratchy.


Smoke-Free Campus proposal

February 5th, 2009 by Scott Younker

It seems that the Anti-Smokers group on campus finally has a time-table for getting rid of those dirty, evil smokers, two years. This according to an article in today’s Ol’ Dirty.

The Smoke-Free Task Force recommended to the University administration Monday that the University become a smoke-free area within two years. The University Senate will discuss the report during its March meeting, but the ultimate decision lies with the administration.

The decision lies with an administration that I think could choose to “enforce” this.

Ahh, it’s fun when people want the University to waste money. Instead of having DPS not do anything when crimes and such actually happen on campus now we can have them not do anything when someone smokes on campus.

I don’t remember when the last smoke-in was but I’m thinking another one might need to be called to order.


Smoke-free Campus Survey

April 11th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

The Smoke Free Campus Task Force (don’t laugh, it’s paid for) has set up a survey to gauge student, staff and faculty thoughts on making campus smoke-free. From the survey:

The Smoke Free Campus Task Force has been appointed to assess the pros and cons of establishing the University of Oregon as a smoke free campus. To assist in this effort, the task force is asking all faculty, staff, and students to complete a short survey to give feedback about the current campus smoking policy and whether the UO should become a smoke free campus. Establishing campus as smoke free would prohibit smoking anywhere on campus, including all buildings and all campus grounds and properties.

I would advise all freedom-loving students, staff and faculty to fill out the survey … as many times as possible. Also, check out the OC’s response to these efforts from fall term.


A smoke-free campus?

November 9th, 2007 by CJ Ciaramella

Just when smokers here at the U of O thought they could cough a sigh of relief with the stunning failure of Measure 50, along comes this story in the ODE, titled “Students push for smoke-free campus.”

According to the story, which is mostly about the Great American Smokeout, ASUO President Emily McLain said she would consider discussing the creation of a committee with Provost Linda Brady to explore making the U of O smoke-free.

The ODE story namedrops a lot of silly sounding organizations in its article, such as the American Non-smokers’ Rights Foundation, the Clean Air Project and the Fresh Air Initiative. I don’t even smoke, but I’m thinking of taking it up just because these people make non-smokers look so ridiculous. Do you people seriously feel that your health is compromised by someone smoking in the open air?

On top of this, the Oregon Legislature passed a law banning smoking from all public buildings earlier in the year, including previously protected bars, bingo halls and bowling alleys.


“Perceived” Rights and Smoker Ethics

December 11th, 2012 by C.W. Keating

After getting off of work in the dungeon that is the Knight Library basement, I stepped into the afternoon rain. I pulled a pre-rolled cigarette from my pocket (Bugler brand – mangy, disgusting Bugler) and lit it. Standing off to the side so as not to spread smoke, an elderly woman shot me the evil eye before stopping in front of me: “There’s no smoking on campus. Go smoke across the street.”

I stared at her until she left.

This kind of situation has become all-too-common since the Healthy Campus Initiative, in partnership with the UO Health Center and the administration (with a special guest funding appearance from the ASUO), implemented a campus-wide smoking ban at the beginning of the Fall. The idea of a smoking ban isn’t anything new; the Smoke Free Campus Task Force (SFTF) issued a report in 2008 that sought to

tak[e] up the matter of campus smoking policy with the understanding that the issue is fueled by strong personal convictions for perceived personal rights, both the right to be free from the effects of secondhand smoke and the right to choose to smoke cigarettes (STFT Report, emphasis mine)

The rest of the report either references student support from polls drawn from other universities, or flat-out neglects student responses in order to reference various studies, policies, and polls from other universities. Under “Synthesis of Survey Findings of UO Faculty, Staff, and Students,” the report states that

Many survey respondents are ready to support the move to a smoke free campus… [and] also were confident that this could be accomplished with designated smoking areas… (Ibid.)

Oh, hey, there’s a reasonable point. But no! The STFT simply cannot concede, because “enforcement becomes very difficult and compliance suffers as a result.” You don’t say.

No matter what the administration does, what programs it implements, what funding it pulls or pushes, students will push against it. Lord knows the Commentator will. The Healthy Campus Initiative tried to remedy this student disconnect with the “STFU” posters, a internet-conscious campaign that seemed to confuse people more than encourage quitting (check out this post about the issue from our very own Editor Emeritus Sophia Lawhead).

Another argument is that it unfairly targets lower-income UO workers. Even those filthy hipsters at the OV agree with us on this point. Making workers go off campus for a 15 minute smoke break is not only inconsiderate, but damaging to already-strained labor relationships.

“All I wanted was a non-fat, cream-jizzed latte with peasant tears in it!”

So why bring up this almost-5-year-old report, you may ask? Because Frances Dyke and company never really cared about what students thought. The UO has become a brand, and it needs to sell itself in order to keep flagging state funding and private donor contributions steady. The publicity surrounding the ban has relentlessly focused on the “progressive” aspects of the program without attending to the opinions of students or faculty – and if so, only through narrow data samples used to prop up their point.

But the effects of secondhand smoke are serious. I completely understand the goal behind the smoking ban. Cigarette butt litter continues to be a problem, and has only been exacerbated by the ban — take a look at the 13th and Kincaid entrance to campus if you don’t believe me. Families with young children and people with respiratory problems are also rightfully concerned.

The only way to fight this ban, then, is to implement a personal smoker code of ethics to demonstrate smoker commitment to a healthy campus and personal freedoms. Here’s mine:

  1. Always smoke away from buildings and large groups of people, and/or areas of great traffic.
  2. Stop inhaling and pull the cigarette as far away from passing families with children.
  3. If someone asks you to smoke off campus, politely decline or simply don’t say anything at all. You’ll be finished if and when they call DPS.
  4. Put butts out and make sure they’re extinguished before throwing them away.
  5. Throw butts in the trash.
  6. If an officer asks you to put your cigarette out, assess the situation. Fines suck, but so do the deprivation of “perceived personal rights.”
  7. Overall, recognize that your activity is looked down upon. Take pride in this.

It’s not perfect, but it works for me. The Commentator will continue to fight this arbitrary ban with articles, letters, appeals, and upcoming events like Tobacco Appreciation Day. But the ball is in smokers’ courts. We at the Commentator will do our best to point out the massive cavalcades of bullshit directed at students who make the choice to smoke. This smoking ban is just another attempt at nannying the student populace; the administration never does anything without direct benefit to them, and they’ve fucked smokers to bolster their public image under the pretense of “knowing what’s best.”

The whole campaign feels like yet another pat on the head, another assumption about our intelligence, actions, and responsibilities. But we’re not kids anymore. We’re adults, students, workers, and yes, smokers. So smoke ’em if ya got ’em. It’s going to be a long, long battle.


STFUpdate: Tobacco, Fines and You

September 5th, 2012 by Nick Ekblad

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. […]

Read the rest of this entry »


STFU for smoking.

August 31st, 2012 by Nick Ekblad

Well,  it’s that time of year. The STFU time of year. Summer is ending, the leaves are changing and students will be shut the fuck up. No, not us respectable students. Only those lower than us who beleaguer our campus with the dangerous, abhorent drug tobacco will be put in their place by this policy change. The Smoke and Tobacco Free University policy  will take effect tomorrow September 1st. Put away your bics and Zippos and take out your evil eye and pointer fingers. However, DPS will not be able to take out their ticket books.

The implementation of this policy calls for the use of an $800,000 grant from PacificSource. As aptly explained in an old post of Lyzi Diamond’s:

The $800,000 grant that was received from PacificSource was actually received by Paula Staight, the Health Promotion Director at the UO Health Center, and is to be spent over five years. The grant will allow the Health Center to hire one full-time and two part-time employees to work on three aspects of a healthy lifestyle: Food, Movement, and Tobacco (specifically the eradication of). There will be no campus-wide policy attached to the smoking ban (see: you can’t get fined or face disciplinary action for smoking on campus).

As I understand it, ciggy recepticals, like the one in the photo above, will be removed within a two-year period as part of the policy change. Though I only care enough to wait and see, I am curious as to why that would really be advisable, why they would actually even consider this. Sure, let’s marginalize those lower than us, but if we are not going enforce the policy with legal repercussions, what’s to stop these dirty people from dropping cigarette butts all over the place? Shan’t we keep Oregon green?

Lyzi linked the Smoke Free Task Force report, but here’s the link for convenience. I just want to say that I see this policy change as one that intends to construct an environment that condemns certain people (who are making personal decisions that only effect them). Tobacco is legal (as other drugs should be, because the government has no business dictating what goes into any individual’s body)(you’d think that this goes without saying, right?). And being a mostly college-admitted community, can we not assume that most UO students are aware that tobacco is harmful to their health? If this policy aims to educate students about the dangers of tobacco, what does this say about our students? This is more of a look-down-our-noses thing than it is an educational thing.

It seems like a slippery slope. Perhaps such discrimination stops with these trouble-makers, but can we be sure? I for one will be organizing another Smoke-In with my cohorts at the Commentator. Join us on the dark side. Of the lung.


Passive tactics may be futile in enforcing impending smoking ban, study shows

May 11th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

In case you’ve been living under a rock or something, the University of Oregon will become a smoke-free campus starting in the fall of 2012. Based on the information provided to the Oregon Commentator thus far, the ban will not be actively enforced, as it is at the University of Iowa, but will be a campus culture change, complete with the removal of smoking stations (ashtrays), the installation of “no smoking” and “smoke-free campus” signs and an implicit and explicit understanding that this is a smoke-free campus, with our peers staring us down until we put out our cigarettes.

But GOOD’s culture team points us to a recent study done by a researcher at Oxford University which shows that no-smoking signs actually encourage smokers to pull one out and light up. From GOOD:

“When I say ‘don’t think of a pink elephant,’ I’ve just put the thought of a pink elephant in your head,” says Earp. “No smoking signs in particular are everywhere. If you’re a smoker walking down a street you’re likely to pass five or six of these signs in windows or on doors. If you have a chronically positive attitude to smoking this could boost your craving.”

And from the Daily Mail article linked to above:

Mr Earp added: ‘What’s interesting is the ironic effect of the negative image. No smoking signs are meant to discourage an activity but what happens is you get a kick back so that the very item that’s supposed to be prohibited becomes more desirable.

‘My hunch is that having all this “don’t do this” information out there may have ironic consequences.’

If the forward movement on the UO smoking ban is indeed going to involve an insurgence of signs and peer pressure, the ASUO, Paula Staight and the UO administration may want to rethink their tactics. If the goal is to get students to quit smoking, perhaps they should funnel some of that $800,000 PacificSource-donated healthy campus initiative money to education on tobacco and smoking rather than a passive-aggressive, peer-pressuring ban.

Maybe allowing students to think for themselves based on provided information may actually be more effective than telling them how to live their lives.


Smoking ban unveiling rescheduled

November 16th, 2010 by Alex Tomchak Scott


My august colleague Lyzi had been under the impression that the unveiling of the campus tobacco-free policy would be today at 9:45 a.m. At the appointed time and place, though, I appeared, along with Emerald news-honcho* Kat Flanigan and Emerald dead-eyed shooter Ivar Vong, to find it deserted by relevant parties.

Flanigan made a quick call to UO spokesperson Julie Brown**, who informed her the event is actually scheduled for tomorrow***. Disappointment for all, then, as I had been very excited.

Footnotes below the fold. The video above is included solely for your viewing pleasure.**** Read the rest of this entry »


Credible toilets. Media digest, Nov. 12, 2010

November 12th, 2010 by Alex Tomchak Scott

Public affairs:

  • Antics: First and foremost: a bunch of UO students went down a water slide!!!!! (KEZI)
  • OSPIRG: The Emerald’s managing editor Lauren Fox writes a narrative about the recent history of OSPIRG. I think it can basically be summarized thus: “OSPIRG lost its funding at UO two years ago, but still wants to get it back and still pays someone to work on campus to get it. There are questions about Oregon Student PIRG’s relationship with Oregon State PIRG, although the article doesn’t make those entirely clear. Now, with Rousseau and Arora in power, they feel they have more hope. (Emerald)
  • Embarrassment, dissected: Based on the fact that UO has risen in the U.S. News and World Report’s rankings, the Seattle Times calls Scott Woodward a liar. (Seattle Times)
  • Lore: The UO offers students the chance to learn more than they can handle about Chinese folklore. (Ethos)
  • ASUO: Since the ASUO Senate has been telling nominees they don’t have what it takes to be senators, the Emerald attempts to find out just what it takes; or at least that’s how the reporter explained it to me this evening. Takeaway quote: “a future concert, which is being designed to increase general student awareness of ASUO-related activities.” Way to take the fun out of a concert. (Emerald)
  • Stodge: Here is an article about theories that does not explain theories. In that respect, it is reminiscent of the KCNA. (Emerald)

Opinion:

Sports:

  • Oregon Football: will play its former offensive coordinator this weekend (Register-Guard); faces a team unbeaten at home this weekend, but then again this record includes poor teams (Emerald); is, by consensus between the editors of the Emerald and the Daily Californian, good (Emerald); will field its second-choice running-back, but not its second-choice quarterback if it can help it (Emerald); charging wall Carson York is embarrassed about liking a class with “women” in the name (Emerald); multi-use bulls-eye Lavasier Tuinei’s father was a football player (Emerald); has a cocky player (AP); thinks Steve Prefontaine was a chill bro (AP); will win against the Hated Bears, KVAL thinks (KVAL).
  • Oregon Cross-Country: runner Luke Puskedra seems to excite people, despite an iron deficiency (Register-Guard); gets a do-over (heard that one from the Guard yesterday) (Emerald).
  • Oregon Basketball (W): will actually be playing a real game against the Hated Wolves Sunday (Emerald, Guard).
  • Oregon Basketball (M): will also play games that matter (or possibly “matter”) this weekend (Emerald, Guard).
  • Oregon Volleyball: thinks it will probably beat the Hated Beavers this weekend, but finds them “incredibly scary” (Emerald).
  • Other football: Andy Drukarev previews the Pac-10 games this weekend (Emerald).
  • Emerald sports-whippet Patrick Malee believes in OF (Emerald).

Silly of the moment.

November 3rd, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

In response to The Great American Smoke-In tomorrow (noon in the EMU Amphitheater), ASUO President Amélie Rousseau has organized a Smoke-Out. (Is she going to get us high? I don’t think so.) [Emphasis in original.]

Hi all,

A tobacco-free campus is a comin’! We are excited that this campus policy change will soon be announced.

The ASUO and the Clean Air Project are organizing a UO smoke-OUT, this Thursday 12-1 in the EMU amphitheater. The smoke-out is in response to the ‘Coalition of On Campus Smokers’ smoke-in event at the same time. We will meet at 11:45 am by the silver chair in the EMU to distribute signs and t-shirts. Even if you can’t come for the whole time, please come for a bit!

We will be participating in a discussion and passing out information about health effects of tobacco, reminding people that 75% of students believe that the right to breathe clean air should take precedence over the right to smoke.

We are also having a sign-making party at the ASUO office, Wednesday from 4-5 pm, where we will be creating some beautiful, positive messaging! If you are artsy/have neat handwriting, please come!

Best,

Amelie Rousseau
ASUO President
asuopres@uoregon.edu
EMU Suite 4

I’m not even going to go into precedence of rights. You guys are smarter than that.

Also, I like that it was us taking action that influenced the ASUO to take action. This is already a victory.

But the most interesting part of all this is Rousseau’s claim that they are going to be “participating in discussion.” FINALLY. The most fascinating part of this smoke-free campus business is that we are the only ones who are talking about it. The Executive has made no effort to engage students in the discussion, and it took an event put on by the Oregon Commentator and the Coalition of On-Campus Smokers (which is barely a real thing) to get them to do anything at all.

So many of the things Rousseau has done this year were shady in some way or another. Why won’t the ASUO be honest and open with the students who elected them? Is it so hard to have an open forum to talk about things? What are they hiding? What are their intentions?

Point being, I’m glad she’s going to have a discussion. It’ll be the first of her administration, and it’s long overdue.

If you’d like to engage in that discussion, please come tomorrow at noon to the EMU Amphitheater. I don’t care if you go to the smoke-out or the smoke-in. It doesn’t really matter. Just force the ASUO to have the conversation.

[Author’s note: To quote a friend, “That’s, like, something Reese Witherspoon’s character would do in Election.”]


Media digest Oct. 28, 2010.

October 29th, 2010 by Alex Tomchak Scott

Didn’t have time to add the Guard this morning. I’ve got a flight to catch.

Public affairs:

  • Cellophane: The UO’s addiction to opaquity is making its grades slip. (Emerald)
  • Rental agreements: Von Klein is warning its tenants not to get arrested this weekend. (Emerald)
  • Unquestioned, untold: The Emerald’s Ian Geronimo tells the story of a teaching intern’s battle with discrimination. (Emerald)
  • ASUO: It’s down to four candidates for the ASUO’s new eco-honcho post. (Emerald)
  • Here is the Emerald‘s brief on Randy Geller.

Opinion:

  • UO Matters sizes up Randy Geller’s pay and offers a bounty to whoever first proves he exists. Fat chance.
  • Pith-hat wearing Emerald sojourner Mark Costigan delivers the personally saddening news that my close personal friend Garrett McAleese doesn’t plan on returning to the United States as he interviews a couple of people who have moved from Oregon to Argentina.
  • Emerald blog-thing Baylea O’Brien, I think without meaning to, blames a nice-seeming pastor for the fact that there are a lot of homeless people in Eugene.
  • Letters: A UO undergrad tells the Emerald he thinks people on the ASUO Senate don’t care about students, while a political action group that opposes smoking says the UO should ban smoking.
  • The Oregon Voice is responding to the OC’s bungled attempt to call its contributors names by saying mean things back at us.

Scene:

Sports:

  • Emerald sports-klaxon Andy Drukarev doubts the NCAA’s motives for trying to tighten rules on monetary gifts are all to do with the Corinthian spirit. Good on him for making his column a weekly screed against the system, I say. (Emerald)
  • Emerald sports-whippet Patrick Malee says Oregon Football is under So. Much. PRESSURE! (Emerald)
  • Oregon Football defensive behemoth Mark Asper is a family man, to the tune of a wife, a daughter, and a fetus. (Emerald)
  • Oregon Football is playing the Hated Trojans tomorrow, and both are good teams. (Emerald)
  • Emerald sports-lizard Robert Husseman appears to have the same conversation with Oregon Football whelp Boseko Lokombo twice.
  • There are so many good Hated Bears and Hated Cardinal players Oregon Volleyball needs to stop this season. (Emerald)
  • Drukarev looks at some other football games you might enjoy. (Emerald)
  • It will be the last home game for Oregon Soccer this weekend. Oregon Soccer player Rianna Mansfield’s been around for a while. (Emerald)

Thoughts on Smoke Free Campus

October 27th, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

First of all, some corrections and clarifications:

The $800,000 grant that was received from PacificSource was actually received by Paula Staight, the Health Promotion Director at the UO Health Center, and is to be spent over five years. The grant will allow the Health Center to hire one full-time and two part-time employees to work on three aspects of a healthy lifestyle: Food, Movement, and Tobacco (specifically the eradication of). There will be no campus-wide policy attached to the smoking ban (see: you can’t get fined or face disciplinary action for smoking on campus).

General concerns:

Likely because there is not going to be any sort of sweeping campus policy change and there will be no additional costs to students, there seemed to be very little general student involvement this year regarding this policy. (This is also a trend in the Rousseau administration.) In the past, the Smoke Free Task Force has held open forums where students / faculty / staff can voice their concerns, but as is the case with most open forums, when there is no direct policy being critiqued, they draw little audience. It is also important to remember that a large number of people who use this campus are not students. As someone who frequents campus late at night (KWVA, DDS, library, etc.), I’ve noticed that a large portion of the custodial staff are in fact smokers. Granted, this shift will not likely affect them as there is no policy attached to it, but it is important to think about.

The Smoke Free Task Force Report [click for PDF] does provide a number of reasons for instigating a smoke-free campus, but it is important to remember that virtually all data regarding second-hand smoke refers to indoor concentration. I have yet to see any data on cigarette smoke in the ambient air. I’m tempted to refer to automobile exhaust — do people really think that all those carcinogens really stay in the ambient air forever? I’m not referring to atmospheric concerns — those are kind of irrelevant when talking about campus smokers. Someone, please, show me some data.

By moving smokers to the edge of campus, aren’t we going to create a wall of smoke that every student will have to walk through to get to campus? Doesn’t that also create a safety issue? And what about students who live on campus? If you get a craving at 2AM, and you have to walk out of your home (dorm) to smoke, out of DPS jurisdiction over onto Franklin or in the East Campus Neighborhood, how will that affect the student and those who live in that area? If anyone thinks people are going to change their behavior because of a sign and a few dirty looks, they are mistaken. Perhaps in a few years, when there is no institutional memory left, things will be different. For now, kids will be kids, and forcing them to change their lifestyle to something you perceive to be better is kind of overstepping your bounds (I’m talking about all parties involved, here).

A not-smoking-related concern: there is $800,000 going to a movement that has no teeth? Does that seem like a waste of money to anyone else?

Moving on:

This policy will have no affect on smokers on campus as of this date. If kids want to smoke, they will smoke. If someone gives me a dirty look while I’m smoking, I will offer them a cigarette. I do like that student smokers will not be fined for smoking on campus. The biggest concern I had before was that smokers would be treated as second-class students. This new policy still contains that attitude, but in a less official way.

I’m not trying to say that smoking isn’t bad for us — it is. But if I want to go base jumping, or operate a baler, or ride a motorcycle, that is my choice. Do those choices affect other people? Sometimes, yes. But until you have definitive proof that me smoking a cigarette in the ambient air poses a serious health risk to students — or that students can’t walk ten feet away from me — then perhaps the UO Health Center and the ASUO should stay the hell off of my rights — and my lungs.

Extra Credit: http://insideoregon.uoregon.edu/hot-topics-blog-smoking-on-campus/


Schools bursting at the seams. News Digest Oct. 27, 2010

October 27th, 2010 by Alex Tomchak Scott

Public Affairs

  • Stampedes: Huge spikes in enrollment at Oregon University System schools. Some schools, such as Portland State, are admitting they are bursting at the seams. Other officials spew on-message refuse into the winds of conventional wisdom. “I am not a huge believer in the ‘enrollment is up because the economy is down’ idea … (and) I like to think it is more about the educational value we offer.” (Emerald)
  • Symbols: A logo has been unveiled for the new basketball temple. (KVAL, KEZI, Register-Guard, ESPN)
  • Money rodeo: Whoever wins the Oregon treasurer’s race will have to do some budget-wrangling. (Emerald)
  • Handcuffs: The EPD Party Patrols gave out a lot of citations this weekend, while Autzen Stadium’s blue-shirts also kicked out more people than ever before. (Register-Guard)
  • Needles: Ever thought something about the flu shot? It’s probably not true, according to an Emerald reporter. (Emerald)

Opinion

  • Left-leaning Emerald columnist Matt Tellam wants you to know that, if you vote Republican, you could die in a fiery crash at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
  • Emerald satirist JoAnna Wendel wonders if, perhaps, canvassers might not react so well to people canvassing them.
  • UO Matters giggles at the qualifications for a new Event Manager at Matt Court.
  • Letters: One Emerald letter-writer impugns Amelie Rousseau’s motives and wants us to spend money on trees, and another wants you to vote for the thing for which he is campaigning. Ron Wyden’s campaign managers call a member of the Jim Huffman campaign out in print and Eugeneans wax muzzy headed about systems of government in the Guard’s mail section.
  • An LTD driver defends the EmX. (Register-Guard)
  • Editorials: The Guard gets wry without saying much about Washington’s proposed income tax and the possibility Texas will steal the state’s business, and defends certain logging.
  • Reasons the UO thinks you should give it money today: This week, Anita D. of Berkely, Calif., had a gut feeling about the UO and wrote her first grant recently. Meanwhile, Katie D. enjoyed working with anti–death penalty activist Helen Prejean, then went off the grid for a couple days. (The UO begging bowl)

Scene

Sports

  • Top Emerald sports-hack Patrick Malee meditates on his first trip to College Game Day and has unusual words of encouragement for Hated Trojans fans. Malee also writes an NBA preview making fun of player Steve Nash’s hair. (Emerald)
  • Oregon Football is focusing on the details needed to beat the Hated Trojans. As in, how many times can you mention the fact they can’t compete in a bowl this season before it hurts? What does Matt Barkley most hate to hear his mother called? Are Hated Trojans players, at this point, desensitized to the mention of Trojan condoms? (Emerald)
  • Oregon Volleyball has a losing record, but, you know, it’s not all bad. (Emerald)
  • Ex-Emerald sports honcho Ben Schorzman pops one dessicated hand out of the grave to remind us that Oregon Baseball will be happening again this year and its players are feverishly excited. (Emerald)