The smoking ban: No enforcement at all?

By Jake Alsko

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While I was watching the Men’s soccer game on Friday, I witnessed a pretty amusing exchange between an event staff member and an unreasonable student arguing over the new smoking policy. Here goes my feeble attempt to paraphrase their dispute:

Event staff: Sorry sir, there’s no tobacco allowed here.

Student: The sign says only alcohol (isn’t allowed).

ES: I know, but smoking isn’t either.

S: Well that’s $#%#$#.

ES: It’s a smoke-free campus now.

S: I don’t care.

ES:  I’m gonna need you to put that out.

S:  I don’t gotta listen to you.

ES:  Yeah you do.

S: (Ignores Event Staff)

ES: So are you gonna put that out?

S: Nope.

ES: Alright sir then I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.

S: Cool. I’m not leaving, I can do what I want.

ES: We’ll see about that.

S: Yeah we will.

ES: (Walks away)

S: (Sarcastically yells) You have a great day sir.

ES: (Sarcastically responds) Yeah you too.

You had to be there to fully appreciate how badly event staff was being disrespected, as the actual conversation was lengthier, featured shouting, sarcasm and a prick with a pathetic sense of self-entitlement embarrassing himself in front of a sizable crowd.

But hopefully you see where I’m going with this. This happened shortly after the second half of the soccer game started. 

The rest of the game lasted well over another hour.

While I was moving around a decent amount, I kept an eye on the smoker to see if he was ever apprehended, but he wasn’t. He stayed in the same spot the entire game and wasn’t approached again by anyone regarding him breaking Oakland’s new no-smoking policy.

Now he could’ve been dealt with once the game was over, but I find that highly unlikely considering the staff member never went to anyone after walking away from the situation. 

Warning a student breaking the rules with a stern “we’ll see” just to walk down to the field and stand there doesn’t exactly give the impression any discipline is going to be dealt.

So there we have it, a pretty good example of just how tightly the no-smoking policy is being followed and enforced. 

Sure, it very well could’ve been an exception, the product of one event staff looking to avoid conflict, but there isn’t much reason to believe that to be the case.

What’s more likely is that the event staff knew he didn’t have the power to do anything other than issue a convincing warning. 

If more students notice the campus’ inability to enforce the new policy, it’ll be interesting to see what’s done, if anything, to change that.