Reporter 416, 9 March 1998


Letters

Through the smoke

Anne-Denise Worsnop
Disability Services Office

I have been on sick leave since November, but when I left there was a debate on banning smoking on the campus, and I would like to add my backing to that proposal.

In November I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in my lung – the X-ray showed half my right lung was affected. Halfway through the treatment the tumour had reduced by 50 per cent, so things look hopeful.

But the terrible downside is that cancers can and do recur. One of the things that can trigger a recurrence is passive smoking. Passive smoking affects ALL cancers. There are proposals at the moment to ban smoking on campus which would significantly help people like me, who are at risk from passive smoking.

In the course of my work in the Disability Services Office I have to go to the lecture theatre building several times a day – which means walking past the smokers who congregate in and around the Maths coffee bar. I also have to go to the Brotherton Library with disabled students, again going past the smelly – and dangerous – smokers’ corner at one end of the bridge which connects the Arts Building with the Library.

These are two of the most commonly used routes on campus, and they were the sites chosen for smokers to indulge their habit. Surely a private room can be found somewhere, where smokers can do their worst without endangering innocent passers-by. I wonder how long it will be before the counter assistant in the Maths coffee bar is suing the University because she is suffering from a cancer brought about by passive smoking?

I have no wish to stop people smoking if they really want to, so long as they do it in private. By smoking in a public place, smokers subject non-smokers like me to their carcinogens, and, like drunken drivers, they put other people at risk.

Marathon challenge

Revd Dr Simon Robinson
Anglican Chaplaincy

The Student Support Network is getting together a marathon relay team for the Leeds Half Marathon on 18 May 1998, raising money for the Network and for a national charity. Please support the team, especially by signing sponsorship forms which will soon be going around the University.

If anyone wants to join the team please contact Revd Simon Robinson in the Chaplaincy, on 233 5070. This message goes out as a particular challenge to staff on Level 11 of the E C Stoner Building!

School ties

Stephen D Clark
Contract Research Member of Staff

The implication of the News in Brief item on School Ties (Reporter 415) is that only independent (public) schools are currently under consideration for this scheme. If so, then pupils from relatively affluent backgrounds may be able to study their first year of university in the two years of sixth form, thereby forgoing one year of tuition fees.

Pupils from other schools, like my own ex-high school, Intake High in Pudsey, should not be denied the chance to experience top- class education opportunities and also forgo a year of tuition fees. Intake High has a national reputation in drama and the performing arts whilst still providing a comprehensive education to the local children.

If this scheme progresses then, as in this example, contacts should be made between the relevant Arts faculty departments and the school. I’m sure other state schools in Leeds would also welcome the opportunity of participating in this scheme.

If this scheme is to progress, don’t confine it to independent schools or science courses.

Although the exploratory discussions referred to in the item were initiated by the independent school sector, it is unlikely that any scheme devised for accelerated access would be viable unless very able sixth formers from maintained schools were included. The university representatives at the meeting were assured by the headteachers present that they were in contact with colleagues from state schools in their area – Dr Chris Hatton

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