Reporter 415, 23 February 1998


A classic problem

Dr Douglas L. Cairns
School of Classics As a member of the School of Classics

I am unable to enter or leave my place of employment, to go from my office to the Roger Stevens Building, or to enter the Senior Common Room without passing through enclosed spaces in which smokers congregate, whether in defiance of the University’s latest policy on smoking, in accordance with it, or (in most cases) neither clearly contravening nor clearly complying with its terms.

The new policy is an ambiguous and unenforceable fudge, and must be replaced as soon as possible by one which guarantees the right of non-smokers not to have to inhale cigarette smoke against their will. This can only be done by prohibiting smoking unambiguously in all enclosed areas of the University which are publicly accessible and through which non-smokers have no choice but to pass in the ordinary course of their employment.

Before the wags leap to their keyboards, I have no wish to ban after-shave lotion or to introduce the death penalty for those whose suffer from BO; nor am I zealous to deprive anyone of their pleasures, unhealthy or otherwise. I simply wish to see the University observe its obligation to provide all its employees with a safe and hygienic working environment.

On the edge

Eric Lewis
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Readers might be amazed and amused by the instruction on the January 1998 pay advice slip which read “To open, remove side edges first and this edges first and this edge last.”

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