When I think of Emporia State, I think about the trees on the front lawn, the bridge over Wooster Lake and the days when I can walk through campus while enjoying open skies and fresh air. I don’t think of a haze of acrid-smelling smoke and that burning itch in the back of my throat that irritates me for the rest of the day after walking through a plume of someone else’s nasty habit on my way to class.
I see the signs with the international “no smoking” symbol posted conspicuously on campus buildings, but I have to wonder why they are there if no one is going to enforce them?
All over the world, people, institutions and governments have made the choice to go smoke-free to some extent. Kansas laws even allow cities and counties to take a stricter stance on tobacco policies than that which the state already has in place.
ESU, with the intent of creating a healthy and sanitary environment, banned smoking within 30 feet of all buildings and facilities, except in designated areas. University policy even prohibits smoking within 10 feet of any place where air – or smoke – could enter a building.
But more and more often, I see people ignoring the signs. Calling campus police seems like an over-reaction, while putting up more signs is redundant and doing nothing is, simply, ineffective. So, what can we do?
Students should take a more active stance to keep our campus healthy and happy. If you see someone smoking near doors, near open windows or close to buildings, nicely ask them to move further away to an appropriate distance. Let them know in a nice or respectful way that this is campus policy, and it helps keep our campus clean.
If you don’t want to step up in person, then write to Bobbi Pearson, director of Facilities Planning. Address it to Pearson at University Facilities, Campus Box 4011, and ask for enforcement of the policy. Help keep our campus healthier!