Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Encouraging the "Marlboro gauntlet" 

The AP wire picks up the story of our campus closing its only indoor smoking facility:
The only indoor smoking facility on campus will close after a final day of smoke breaks Wednesday. A student government poll taken last year found that 57.8 percent of students were in favor of closing the room, known as the Apocalypse Room.

St. Cloud State and Minnesota State University-Mankato are the only four-year state institutions that still offer smoking rooms.
There's a certain ironic humor of calling the smoking lounge the Apocalypse Room, but frankly few nonsmokers even know where the damn thing is, or was. It's in the student union basement near where other students eat. I've sat in the next room numerous times and did not smell anything.

So students are now told to smoke outside here at Frozen Tundra State. They will huddle near the door, and nonsmokers who are bothered by smoke will scamper through doorways snarling at the smokers and complaining about how close they stand to the door. One faculty member referred to it once as running the "Marlboro gauntlet".

Perhaps they'll create free smoking zones. After all, we already have free speech zones.