Kudos to the Human Services Club for taking initiative in coming up with a temporary solution to the controversial “smokers’ corner.”
Not only has the club started doing weekly cleanups, they have also installed a cigarette butt receptacle.
Since this campus became smoke-free in the fall of 2005, the corner of Belknap and Dewey has become a haven for smokers and a nuisance for the staff of the United Methodist Student Center.
It’s not just students who use this corner; campus employees — notably police officers and members of the office of student life — have been seen lighting up at the corner.
At the Nov. 17 Student Government Association meeting, Alex Ruiz, anthropology sophomore and United Methodist Student Organization president, suggested working with this college to come up with a solution to this ongoing problem, but SGA told him nothing could be done because the corner is not college property.
At the same meeting, President Robert Vela backed SGA citing the non-smoking campus policy, but he later said he would look into it because of safety risks.
At the Feb. 10 College Council meeting, Vela said he wants all students to feel safe and included at this college. (Be careful, Dr. Vela, next the vapers will want a space and then the skaters, etc. How far do we have to go to make people feel included?)
A Ranger video titled “Should our campus create a designated smoking area on campus?” received mixed opinions from students.
A survey by SGA showed almost 60 percent thought a smokers’ section should be part of this college.
The United Methodist Student Organization also conducted a survey.
While everyone else sits in meetings debating the issue, the members of the Human Services Club, who are training to become licensed chemical dependency counselors, did something about it.
They didn’t need to conduct a survey. They didn’t need to appoint a committee to study the issue.
They saw the problem and said we can help.
In support of their studies, they met the immediate problem of a trashed- out corner head-on. Way to go, Human Services Club.