Smoke and mirrors

Start sucking down those carcinogens, kids. Starting this fall, Oakland University is converting to a full-fledged non-smoking campus.

Policy 475 expands upon the current 50-foot rule to encompass the entirety of the grounds, in an effort to “keep the air clean for all students, employees and visitors to Oakland,” according to a press release in March.

This fall semester, everyone will be able to walk safely outside without worry of breathing in any form of toxic fumes. That’s if you’re not counting the consistent plumes from the never-ending construction equipment on campus.

A quick search shows that the World Health Organization rates raw diesel fumes worse for lung cancer than second-hand smoking, and majority of the Cat and Komatsu equipment running all hours of the day are fueled by diesel engines.

Huh. Wonder if in OU’s effort to protect the lungs of all persons on campus, they could employ some construction companies that use tools that work off green tea.

It’s happened on 22 other Michigan campuses, in the state that knows only two seasons: winter and construction. If you’re going to base the ban off of strictly health reasons, you’re going to have to try harder.

Smokers know what they’re getting into. There is not a single smoker that believes their doing the body any good, even if statisically a cigarette before a long run has decreased their mile splits, but at least it’s a choice. No one has a say in the fumes they’ll suck up on the walkway to Kresge Library.

What’s more important – a flashy clock tower or the public health? The final paint job is probably going to look like a giant Newport, anyway.

Feel safe, non-smokers! You’ve won. Just don’t stand too close to that enormous backhoe. They’ll have to start constructing a chemotherapy center during the winter semester. What’s a better Christmas gift from your school than cancerous developments?