In a surprise move, the Chicago Booth administration released a new policy for the designated smoking area on the Harper Center campus, effective immediately. The policy applies to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, candy cigarettes, and cigars.
Once about 15 feet from the East exit, the new location will be just over eight blocks south of campus in the up-and-coming Woodlawn neighborhood. A review of the Chicago Police crime statistics reveals 8 shootings, 4 stabbings, 37 incidents of gang-related violence and a jaywalking violation at the proposed location in the past week.
“We’re thrilled to offer our students this new location to enjoy their tobacco products,” said Dean Stacey Kole in a prepared statement.
Smokers had mixed reactions to the policy. “Wait, isn’t that in the ghetto?” asked Michael Cortez, ’17, as he took a long, slow drag from his Virginia Slim. “Maybe I’ll get roller skates or one of those hover boards for the walk between classes.”
Others had a more opportunistic view of the policy change. “This just gives me more options for what I can smoke,” said Rafa Tuachi, ‘17. “I heard that you can get all sorts of stuff down there. It’s great that Booth is offering us access to those markets.”
Pressed if the change in location would change their habits, the smokers seemed unfazed. “Honestly, it’s the only thing that keeps me going,” responded Cortez. “Between the soul-crushing interviews, pretending to remember everyone’s name, and the awful cafeteria sushi, these puppies are the only thing keeping me off the Metra tracks,” he remarked, as he lightly kissed his half-empty pack of Slims.
“I guess as long as I don’t get stabbed too often I’ll follow the policy,” said Tuachi. The administration declined to comment whether or not the campus security patrols would extend to 67th. “I’ll just have to figure out what colors not to wear,” he remarked.
A similar policy is being implemented at the Gleacher Center downtown, where students will have to smoke on the patches of ice that form in the Chicago River. “I think we can all agree that these changes are in the best interest of the student body,” remarked Dean Kole.
Note: No members of the administration were interviewed for this article.