Teddy Hall have imposed a blanket smoking ban on college grounds without students’ consent.
In an email sent to all undergraduates, JCR president Joshua Coulson stated, “ I’ve just come out of a governing body meeting (with all the college fellows), where the decision has been made to ban all smoking in college (at all sites). I don’t know exactly when this will come into practice, but the decision has been made.
“I’d imagine that many people will either be happy or ambivalent about this news, but some of you will be furious, and I can see why. I was involved in the discussion, but this is ultimately something that is not in the JCR’s control.”
The Bursar at Teddy Hall has declined to comment.
The motion against smoking on college ground was passed with 17 in favour of the ban, two against and three abstentions.
The governing body also resolved to place a CCTV camera which will be placed outside the night gate to help protect people smoking there.
Some students registered their fierce opposition to the motion. Second year PPEist Alex Michie sent a letter protesting the legislation to college principal, Dr Keith Gull.
The letter stated, “The only reasons put in favour of the smoking ban are completely irrelevant, as opposed to many sensible arguments against.
“There has been no serious consultation with the relevant bodies – those people who it actually affects, and where there was consultation, it has been ignored.”
A key reason made in favour of the ban in the meeting, according to Coulson, was that the designated smoking area in college had been ignored and smokers had been leaving cigarette butts around the graveyard, a grassy area at Teddy Hall.
Michie slated this argument in his email, stating, “A small bin by the bar and by the library entrance, as repeatedly requested, would solve [the issue of litter] immediately.
“Additionally, as a result of the ban, the mess will just be transferred to the entrance of college, along with a cloud of smoke – ruining the aesthetic of the college far more than at present – even without bins.
“Ironically, Teddy Hall will now, as a result of the ban, be known as the college of smokers.”
Michie also emphasised the welfare issue for students who would have smoke outside college late at night as a result of the ban.
“There is a heightened risk to students, especially female… placing a CCTV camera outside the late gate will be able to record any attacks/rapes that happen. Brilliant.”
Though this piece of legislation has proved controversial at Teddy Hall, proponents of the motion stated that a blanket smoking ban was the norm at most Cambridge colleges.
Michie argued, “So what? Who cares what colleges in Cambridge are doing? This defense amounts to that of the five year old caught smashing windows: ‘all my friends were doing it.’ Besides, surely a more appropriate comparison would be other Oxford colleges, hardly any of which have a blanket ban.
“Policies affecting those that live and work here should have significant input from those who are affected – the JCR, the MCR, and the SCR. I don’t think any of these democratic organisations were consulted in any serious way.’
However, James Black, a student at Corpus Christi Cambridge stated, “Every one here seems in favour [of the ban].
“Besides, there are always people who can dodge the ban if they try hard enough.”