Below are two comments on a recent Diamondback story at the University of Maryland:
1. “this is ridiculous. there are bigger problems to address than whether some whiner inhales secondhand smoke for 2 seconds of their day. grow up people. get on with the real problems and leave this bs behind.”
2. “I fully support this. It is disgusting how many people smoke in the plaza outside Tawes/Art-Soc. I don’t want my lungs to die just because someone else doesn’t care what happens to their’s. And if someone wants to smoke, they can still go out to Route 1.”
Now here is your pop-up quiz: These comments are indicative of --
A. Debate over the new football field at Byrd Stadium
B. Debate over the new gourmet dorm food
C. Debate over the new smoking ban on campus
If you picked C, you are a genius: You can hand in your homework and leave class early. Have a good day.
The University System of Maryland Institutions has joined other local and national colleges in banning all smoking on campus or, as the Diamondback put it, “The days of students taking smoke breaks on the steps of McKeldin Library will soon be over.”
Montgomery College has done it. So has Towson University.
The ban at the University of Maryland goes into effect no later than June 30, 2013, which means students either have a year to quit smoking or find a quick spot off campus to inhale.
Meantime, institutions will decide on appropriate consequences for campus smoking, which could include “fines or disciplinary measures,” according to the approved measure Given the size of some of these campuses — especially the College Park location — I have significant doubts about how well this ban can be enforced, if at all.
And in case there are students out there who want a specific definition of how smoking is defined — I was, not surprisingly, one of those students who asked similarly annoying questions — the measure says smoking “means carrying or smoking a lighted tobacco product or the burning of any material to be inhaled including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes.”
Class dismissed. Please clean up after yourselves.