Fuming mad

Despite the enactment of Policy 475, swarms of smokers post up underneath OU Clean Air signs around campus and indulge their daily habits.

They’re pretty upset about being told what they’re allowed to do with their bodies.

“It’s prejudice,” said freshman Ben Freers. “People can say there’s carbon monoxides and all these carcinogens in the air because of us, but it’s not going to hurt anybody except ourselves.”

Some students feel their rights are being violated, while others, like Savanna Polimeni, senior in criminal justice, feels she pays enough to make her own choices on campus.

“We pay a lot to go here. The students should be allowed to decide,” she said.

“I think we already pay enough tuition, so I don’t see why I can’t do it,” Laura Smith, senior in communications, said.

While non-smokers may look down at the students huddled in the corner, majority of Oakland’s smokers make a conscious effort to smoke responsibly.

“We know not everyone’s a smoker so we’re off to the side,” Polimeni said. “We go out of our way to not walk through a crowd.”

Smith said that if Oakland isn’t going to enforce the policy, they should provide ample ashtrays so smokers are less tempted to litter the ground with smoldering butts.

“The cops were here [outside South Foundation Hall] and they didn’t say anything.”

Polimeni thinks OU is just hopping on the anti-smoking bandwagon behind many other state universities, where similar policies have failed to be enforced.

“Oakland’s a little more liberal, a really big commuter campus – it’s a different kind of crowd. It seems like they would be understanding we aren’t all 18-year-olds that live here,” she said.

Freers added that a simple policy isn’t likely to push someone to kick the habit anytime soon.

“Some of us are hopelessly addicted, you know?”