Smoking in the Dorms
Iowa State has the job of accommodating all the students while hopefully fulfilling their expectations of comfort. A controversial issue for students living in the dorms is smoking and the people it affects. At ISU the department of residence does offer halls where smoking is permitted, but the problems come from the students that donít smoke and have to put up with it on a regular basis. It also may be possible that a person who does smoke is prohibited from doing so. Some people donít get a choice where they want to live. They often get placed somewhere with someone they most likely wonít know. The people that donít smoke complain about the smell in the halls and argue that they are very allergic to it. Smokers get upset when they have to live on a floor that doesnít allow smoking. Their only solution is to move or go outside to have a smoke. People that donít smoke have a valid reason for not wanting to be in contact with second-hand smoke. They would rather not have someone endangering their lives. "Some 53,000 nonsmokers die each year from secondhandsmoke-3,000 of them from cancer (Secondhand Smoke n.pag)." On the other hand smokers should not have walk downstairs every time they feel like having a smoke.
To solve the problems with an easy solution is simple. Installing air filters in the halls of smoking floors would greatly reduce the smell and chemicals present in the air. This method could be used by itself, or be complemented by having students request smoking halls instead of students requesting smoke-free floors. These solutions used together would place more smokers together in the same area and reduce the cost of air filters buy needing fewer of them. Restaurants and bars all have to follow laws pertaining to smoking. They must offer a non-smoking area in restaurants and keep the air leaving the smoking section clean. Bars must also clean their air to a specific level. These establishments use air filters hanging from a ceiling. They're many different types of air filters and sizes depending on the amount of smoke expected. If you look up in a dance club or bowling alley you can usually spot some type of air cleaning system. At Iowa State, a residence hall is never going to have as much smoke as any of the places listed above. If a filter is such a simple solution for all of these businesses, why canít they install small filter systems in the halls that do allow smoking. Clear Flite Air Purifiers, sell small units that can clean 132 sq. ft. of air and would only cost about one hundred dollars each (Clear Flite Air Purifiers n.pag)."
I live on a floor in Willow hall, where smoking is allowed but doors must always be shut. If smoke can be smelled in the hall then you could be written up because people walking by might be bothered by it. The solution used right now by the university is based on room selection. You can decide if you want to live in a smoke-free house, but they only offer a small number of these for students. If the smoke-free house is full by the time the Department of Residence hands out room assignments, then you get put where they have room.
The university is hesitant to draw up plans because it is going to cost a substantial amount of money to put in filter systems. With the number of students, I donít see how it would significantly increase our room and board fee. After they have been installed, they will only have to charge for the price of replacement filters. Other solutions include making students that smoke buy their own, or rent from the university a personal air filter for their room.
The Department of Residence does have a large task of assigning every student to a room where they feel comfortable living. I donít think it would be too hard of a problem to look at the smoking situation and find a reasonable solution similar to what I have discussed within this paper. These solutions could make lives better for the smoker and the non-smoker. People who have troubles being around smoke