As publicized in the Minnesota Daily last year, the University of Minnesota implemented a campus-wide smoking ban in July 2014. The intent of this policy is straightforward: The University is striving for a more appealing, cleaner campus and protecting its public outdoor areas.
I understand that it will take time for campus to fully adjust to this policy change. However, I have discovered one troubling issue: I notice immense amounts of cigarette butts scattered throughout campus, and I believe this issue is actually worse than before the smoke-free policy was implemented.
My theory is that the University, as part of policy change, removed ashtrays and cigarette receptacles from campus, causing smokers acting against the rules to have no place to dispose of their garbage.
To solve this issue, the University should enforce the smoke-free policy by either having campus police hand out fines to violators or find alternative ways to change behavior. I am for a smoke-free campus, but I believe the current policy is not achieving its full potential.
This issue affects the cleanliness of the entire campus, and it hurts the University’s credibility by not enforcing the smoking ban. I hope in the near future we can abide by our University’s policies and for the University to act on those who break them.