Smoker’s post at Linnaeusborg removed, but people smoke anyway 

Smoking is now discouraged across the entire Zernike campus. Even the smoker’s pole near the bridge behind the Linneausborg was removed last week. Nevertheless, smokers can do as they please on the grounds.

The smoker’s pole (an ashtray on a stand) was on the other side of the bridge from the Linnaeusborg. That’s where the stewards would allow people to smoke. However, fifty metres on, at the crossroads with Paddepoel, a thick blue line on the pavement proclaimed no smoking beyond that point.

During a faculty council meeting at the Faculty of Science and Engineering last year, Michael Wilkinson with the personnel faction asked whether these two things weren’t at odds with each other. He also asked whether the pole actually meant the UG was facilitating smoking, which isn’t allowed. The pole has since been removed.

The smoker’s post that has since been removed.

Smoker’s sheds

‘Weird’, says Daniel Tiran, who has come up to the bridge from the Bernoulliborg together with a few fellow students. ‘We’re constantly told to go here to smoke’, he says. ‘How far away is that?’ asks Bilal, when he hears about the crossroads. He stretches his neck to see, but the reeds are too high. 

The students think smoker’s sheds on campus would be a better solution. ‘The ashtray was actually a good thing, because now people just throw their cigarette buts on the ground’, says Bilal, pointing to the many buts littering the muddy ground around him.

Too much to do

The university did place a large trash can near the blue line in consultation with the city, says steward Jesse Benne, who’s taking a smoke break with some of his colleagues. They’re not fans of the new policy. ‘We have enough to do as it is: pick up trash, organise the bikes. We’re especially busy with the bikes.’ That’s why they no longer address smokers.

‘We have no authority to tell people to leave’, Benne explains. ‘All we can do is tell them off.’ They also can’t fine anyone, and they have no authority over people at the Zernikelaan. ‘That’s a public road from shoulder to shoulder’, he emphasises. ‘They need to hire people to enforce the rules’, says Benne. ‘We’ve been saying so since the start.’ He thinks news will spread soon enough if people start getting fined.

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