Smoking Persists at Wilder
Despite a prohibition of smoking on Wilder porch, smokers continue to indulge their habit right in front of Wilder’s entrance.
The policy, passed by a unanimous vote of the Student Union Board at the beginning of the semester, bans smoking on the porch, on the steps and beneath the overhang of Wilder.
The policy also bans smoking near Hales and is a reaffirmation of Oberlin’s standing smoking policy. According to the Student Handbook, “Smoking is ONLY allowed at least 30 feet away from entrances and exits of all College-owned facilities.”
As of late, the Student Union has gone on the offensive, posting signs throughout the building and its perimeter warning against smoking, and even going so far as to slap bright yellow “No Smoking” stickers on the Adirondack chairs.
While the administrators of most buildings around campus have become complacent about the policy, even going so far as to place ashtrays well within the stipulated 30-foot perimeter, it appears that the leadership of Wilder intends to take a stand.
Associate Director of the Student Union Chris Baymiller, OC ’71, said, “We’re hoping through raising awareness that we won’t have to engage in active policing. Ideally, the students, staff and faculty will self-regulate.”
Recently, Wilder has attempted to utilize its student staff as enforcers, but this strategy has been met with more disdain than compliance. As College senior Stephan Alessi said, “Wilder porch is a pleasant and enchanting place to smoke a cigarette.”
Ben Weber, College senior and a building monitor at Wilder, was rebuked by a smoker on the porch while attempting to enforce the policy. “I was told, ‘[expletive] you, man. Until the ashtrays are removed from right in front of this door I am going to smoke here.’” The ashtrays have since been moved to the bottom of Wilder’s stairs.