So the day every philosophy student feared has arrived: UCD student union put forward a referendum to ban smoking on campus and students voted in favour of the expulsion on the grounds of health and safety.
As we all know with the smoking ban that took place in pubs and clubs around Ireland from 2007, it’s not going to be that easy. Sure, the ban might discourage a percentage of students from smoking due to inconvenience, but there will still be the devotees. Those clinging on to their quickly ostracising habit till the butt end.
With Trinity now considering a smoking ban on their own campus, it seems likely many campuses will follow UCD’s example.
A nationwide smoking ban in colleges and universities may seem ridiculous in such large areas, but if UCD, the largest university campus in Ireland, can do it, it is a reality other universities must be prepared for.
Here are some tips I suggest to guarantee the smoothest of transitions into the smoking ban:8. Make a smoking area
If UCD want to ban smoking, they are going to have to provide the same facilities students enjoy most nights a week. As we frequent smoking areas for a bit of hearty discussion more so than our actual tutorials, we should expect the same level of comfort afforded to us when ostracised from our campus.
The smoking area should be placed on the outskirts of campus with a stairs reaching either up or down and should be surprisingly more packed than the main campus itself. These stairs should be extremely dangerous and see girls in high heels conquering it through the slow side-step down or an ambitious run that soon turns into a backwards bounce on the bum.
You should constantly be blocked entry by groups of friends stopping on the stairs discussing the next class they will go to because Claire tripped on the way into the Newman building and is now barred from Theatre L for the week.
The casual few ‘social’ smokers surviving on the dregs of your precious pack may finally stop their charade and stay where they belong. In Squareville. Population nerd.
Furniture must clearly be provided, but make sure it’s mostly broken and in short supply.
A full time deep emotional conversation or DMC expert must be provided. He will have the chats that become increasingly personal in too short a period with anyone left alone in the area. He must also get their number and promise to session together next week before he wakes up the next morning confused by the contact named ‘oUhfik!!s’, and gets on with his life, oblivious to the soulmate he met last night7. Move the Arts building
Let’s be honest, you don’t step out into a haze of fumes and a stench of stale butts when you exit the health science building. Although the irony would be amazing.
Arts and it’s small timetable grants these trendy kids in their beanies and leather jackets more then enough time to pose and preen with their cigarettes outside the block. It is probably the least healthiest place on campus, but the library lake and it’s suspicious greenish underbelly will overcome it once the ban starts.
However, maybe the whole problem of banning smoking could be solved if the worst offender was placed strategically so that the entrance steps remained outside campus. The clouds of smoke can be placed a metre from the outskirting line of UCD allowing the arts student to remain close to the beloved Mecca that is Theatre L, whilst also abolishing any responsibility towards UCD’s health and safety regulations. Sounds like a winner for all.
Now, discuss how you think this change may affect the students in relation to Marx’s ideas on alienation in 2,000 words and have it to me by the 8th at 12pm.6. Become a secret society
Smokers are set to become public enemy number one on UCD campus, but maybe they should use that to their advantage.
A secret smoker society may be set up organising meetings in various hidden areas around campuses. They may follow UCD’s Irish republican roots as they travel around in flying columns enjoying the shelter of various hedges and bushes that surround UCD’s outer walls.
It wouldn’t be too indulgent to possibly adopt a uniform and a secret oath. Maybe even an initiation ceremony. They can become legends, a mysterious coven hiding in the shadows of the university’s strangely alluring stone architecture All before the inevitable rebellion. Or, they could just meet up behind decaying skips whilst dodging classes.5. Slide
Enough episodes of cribs on MTV have reliably informed me what I need to possess to be considered a success in 21st century life. A thousand pairs of trainers I may only wear once. A plasma screen television in my shower. A poster of the movie Scarface. Most importantly though, I should glide from A to B in my humble abode not by stairs, but by slide.
If smokers are to travel the length of campus between classes in such short periods, wouldn’t it be better to make it quick and fun? Who doesn't like slides? Crazy people, that’s who. A water slide can be considered a possibility if global warming continues it’s erratic personality.
The slide also lessens the amount of exercise the smoker may have to do. They are out of breath quite often.4. Invisibility cloaks
Twilight can continue to teach young girls that the perfect man is one that is cold as ice with a heart of stone, with the personality of one too, but Harry Potter will always be the ultimate book franchise for our generation.
Whilst the children of Hogwarts wouldn’t dream of a quick rollie in the chamber of secrets - they would more likely catch one down the sides of diagon alley - their magical gadgets would be greatly appreciated in our boring muggle world.
Don’t want to be caught smoking on campus? Invisibility cloaks! Invisibility cloaks for all. Wrap it around you and enjoy stalking the halls of UCD with your marauders map dodging libro cop.
During the later months of the year in Ireland, the sight of chilled breath in the air is one that reminds us the winter is indeed coming and there is nothing we can do about it. So stand close to the chump who left the jumper his mum knitted him in Coppers last night, and blend your grey smoke with his shivered inhalation.
Be careful not to smother yourself with smoke under the cloak. Hogwarts would definitely not approve of a misunderstanding of basic fire safety.3. Teleportation device
Star Trek would have been the daytime television choice of the student generation before us, but let’s not let their endless hours of knowledge go to waste.
A teleportation device hurling us from various areas on campus to the outskirts would be an altogether brilliant way of dealing without the smoking ban on campus grounds.
Fast, easy but with the risk that someone be may come out the other side half-fly, let’s not pretend teleporting isn’t a mini adventure in itself.
Then again, we may all have to stay on constant watch for flies with human voices. Or catdogs.2. Smoker pods
I remember going to the zoo once and seeing the giraffes, the tigers, the gift shop, but most importantly, I saw the glass cage they kept the smokers in.
They looked out of their glassy contraption with dead-eyed concentration, as if every drag was their last.
Wait, no. I wasn’t at a zoo. I was at a restaurant before the smoking ban. I was looking at ‘the smokers room’, a glass case inside a restaurant where smokers could indulge their habit in order to numb their taste buds from the awful food they were about to have.
I’m fairly sure there was one in Kylemore so they were probably making the best decision of everyone in the place.1. Coach
In an improbable case of ‘how can this possibly be real?’, rumours are abound UCD that a coach that will ferry students up and down campus to feed their nicotine craving. This is apparently what the university is considering to deal with the problem of the smoking ban.
I’ve left this idea to the end of my list because in a list that includes a machine from star trek and becoming invisible, coaching students up and down campus still seems like the most ridiculous idea of the lot.