Butts on campus

OpEd_Smoking That enticed your eyes, did it not?  Eyes do sometimes wander to the oddest of sights. Sometimes they fixate on the littlest, out-of-place things, whether we like it or not. For me, these include the variable collection of cigarette butts in front of Warch Campus Center.

Although the size of this downtrodden community fluctuates, one can always expect to see a dozen or so, nestled within the concrete, woodchips and lingering snow.

There are even more explicit examples of cigarette butt accumulation, in less-frequented spots on campus such as the Plantz Hall dumpsters.

These butts absolutely fascinate me. When I pass by, I cannot help but gaze and wonder at these butts. And, if you will kindly read on, I will explain to you my thoughts on these butts.  Carefully examine each of my conclusions, and please butt in if you find me to be a cheeky ass.

Having rid myself of shameless butt-jokes, I will begin with some customary rebuking. My gripe has less to do with our peers’ disregard for the LUCC’s Smoking Ban, and more to do with their disregard for Earth, Mother Nature, Greenfire’s raison d’être, etc.

However you refer to it, you must have some concern for how we treat it, or at least in this case, some pride in the appearance of our campus.

I am sure we can challenge ourselves to care a little more for the environment. Really, indulge in our pricey liberal arts education and idealize once in while!

What really intrigues me, though, is the complication this surely causes for the WCC staff.  The obvious solution would be to install a butt-friendly litter receptacle just outside the doors.

This would significantly reduce unsightly waste, encourage responsible smoking and relieve the WCC custodial staff and student employees of a tedious chore.

As common sense as this may seem, it is not an option. The LUCC’s Smoking Ban forbids smoking on campus, including the area around the WCC. For the WCC staff to install a butt-friendly litter receptacle would effectively give students permission to violate the Smoking Ban.

Nevertheless, the benefits of such a receptacle would outweigh the drawbacks, including its implied nullification of the Smoking Ban.

There are some who may protest at the idea of WCC allowing smoking near its doors. They will balk at the second-hand smoke, or complain of the smell.

If the receptacle is properly placed, students will easily avoid unwanted smoke. And if students complain of the smell, they should keep in mind that, in such close proximity to the Quad, Sage Hall and a paper factory, there could be worse things to smell.They should also keep in mind the current situation outside of WCC.  Despite the Smoking Ban, students continue to smoke outside of the doors.  Without the proper litter receptacle, their cigarette butts end up on the ground.

And eventually, a WCC or student employee will have to pick it up. With the proper litter receptacle, more problems would be solved than created.

However, if it seems like I am directly appealing to the WCC to disregard LUCC legislation, I have not been clear.  I, among many students, would most like to see our LUCC representatives evaluate the effects of their Smoking Ban, and consider actions that are responsible to both the environment and university employees.