OPINION | Butler must clear the smoke

Like a typical college student, I value my downtime. I like a quiet, relaxing environment to come home to after class where I can nap, read or watch Netflix.

Like a typical college student, I pay to live on campus and live in a clean, healthy place. I did not choose the location of my room, and I did not know it was next to a smoking area.

Unlike many other college students, I have to brave a cloud of cigarette smoke in order to get to my dorm in Schwitzer Hall.

The “designated smoking area” is less than 10 feet away from my window, which has to be open due to the lack of thermostat in my room. Because of this, I am exposed to carcinogens and toxic chemicals in the comfort of my room.

Students should not be forced to suffer the consequences of secondhand smoke exposure because of the habits of others.

The Butler University smoking policy states that the university wants “to provide a healthy work environment for all of its employees.”

The solution is to provide a small number of designated smoking areas that are not near entrances to buildings or frequently-traveled pathways.

I do not understand how smoking next to a residence hall filled with more than 400 freshmen is considered safe or healthy. The policy should be amended to include students as well.

Considering that my room is a tour room, I know prospective students have walked through the cloud of smoke created by employees  and students more than once. I can guarantee it is not a selling point.

Since elementary school, most of us have been warned about the dangers of smoking. There are ads everywhere showing us the consequences of inhaling cigarette smoke.

When people are in the smoking area, they tend to forget that they have to act professional. While I am sitting in my room, I can hear the people in the smoking area screaming at others who are at least 20 feet away.

As a college student, I cannot pretend I have never heard a swear word before, but I do not enjoy listening to people yelling and swearing back and forth while I am trying to study in my room.

As I am paying for room and board, I expect a certain level of healthiness and cleanliness in my environment. I expect a certain level of professionalism from the people who work here.

If Butler does not consider banning smoking altogether, I hope that it will consider moving the smoking area away from all residential halls.

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