School policy has been around for some time: decades maybe. Some say they are archaic, but how much has college changed anyway? When you are having orientation on your first day, you get the picture of how things are going to be run. There are campus rules and regulations that must be abided by on an honor system basis. They give you a little brochure outlining what is and is not allowed. It is pretty standard stuff about how late you can walk around campus, whether or not you can drink alcoholic beverages outside your dorm room, and a modest dress code. Classroom behavior oddly enough includes not talking during lectures or passing notes during tests. These seem so obvious. Safety is covered and everyone gets a sense about smoking and starting fires. There is a general attitude about the policy that you should look after your fellow students. It is common sense behavior that is sought.
I hear tell that policy change is coming. We are all trying to guess what it might be. Most everything is already covered by the old rules. What could possibly be left? We hope it won’t be something negative and off-putting. Well, it wasn’t. It seems that the campus authorities have seen fit to protect its non-smoking students. This health precaution is long overdue. After all, few restaurants, planes, or trains allow smoking anymore these days. Certainly you can’t go in the supermarket lit up. There is a new level of respect that has been overtaking the control of public places. The campus now is strewn with an assortment of air purifiers designed for cigarette smoke external in key lecture halls and the library to handle any residual smoke by students who don’t comply with the non-smoking rules. There are always those who sneak a puff here and there. They say it helps them study. The purifiers are especially useful in the dorms where curbing smoking is almost impossible. It is the one place where it is lightly tolerated. The dorm staff turn away their eyes. They know that social encounters often revolve around a smoke. Any student who wants an air purifier in their room can ask for one or they can request a non-smoking roommate. You usually ask for this before an assignment is even made. But college kids smoke: that is a fact of life. It is odd given the emphasis on health these days. More people go to the gym, eat right, and put exercise on the top of their priority list even if it just means a bicycle ride or long walk around campus. When you see kids walking and smoking, however, it comes as a bit of a surprise. It is getting rarer and the air purifiers are the symbolic reminders of how times are changing. It means that when it comes to smoking, you must use your judgment and be mindful of others. It goes without saying that if a non-smoker is exposed to smoke, they will voice their complaint.