A place as green as Wageningen gives you the liberty to step outdoors anytime for some fresh air. Sometimes more essential than other times, to clear the mind. But unfortunately, as soon as blogger Kaavya Raveendran steps out of any building and takes a deep breath, instead of fresh air she inhales a gust of cigarette smoke.
© Sven Menschel
Clearly, I am a non-smoker, but I am not against people who choose to smoke. I am just one of those people who is bothered by the scent of cigarette smoke. Even though it is a short encounter, being welcomed by this smell each time I enter or exit a building is not a pleasant experience.
As per my observation, I do notice certain structures built around the campus buildings to house the people who want to enjoy a cig during their work breaks. It is built nicely with a bud dispenser and a shed to provide shade from the sun. But its existence is barely used to its full potential.
In the company where I am an intern, the smoking booth is situated quite far from the entrance of the building, and people make it a point to walk the distance every time, even if it is five times a day. Basically, this tells me that people do and are capable of using the booths appropriately.
In busy campus buildings such as Forum or Orion, I see people often neglecting the provided facility and continuing their business just outside the revolving doors of the buildings. I don’t know how many people actually complain about this, but it causes me a great deal of discomfort every time I have to pass through that area. And the entrance is not a route I can avoid.
Maybe it is nice to bring this to the attention of my fellows. It would be highly considerate if they chose to smoke in the booths provided for that very activity. The booths are strategically positioned away from the buildings and can be easily avoided by anyone who is disturbed by the smell.
I see how accommodating Wageningen can be, as it graciously hosts so many people with different interests and practices. So here is an open and humble request to people at Wageningen University to make this small conscious effort to walk a few steps away and then light up that cig. This way, you can enjoy the air you like, and I can enjoy mine.
PS: It is not a complain, it is a petition for a slight adjustment.
Kaavya is a master’s student of Food Technology.