By Karen Snider
Students may no longer have to trek to the convenience store when they run out of smokes in Oakham House.
Dale McNichol, managing director of Oakham House, put forth a proposal before the Oakham House Managing Committee last week to allow cigarettes to be sold in Oakham, which is managed by RyeSAC.
“I put [the proposal forward] because I had been asked by students why I allow smoking [at Oakham House] but don’t sell cigarettes,” McNichol said. “My customers have asked me for something and I feel obligated to provide this service for them.”
Although McNichol, himself a non-smoker, doesn’t want to encourage anyone to smoke, he believes he’s not going to get anyone to quit smoking by not selling cigarettes in the pub.
But Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs, doesn’t agree with McNichol and believes the school “should not be in the business of selling cigarettes.”
“There’s no doubt the ultimate outcome for smoking is serious disease,” said Grayson. “As an institution, it is our choice [to sell cigarettes]. Do we want to be part of the problem?”
“If people want to buy cigarettes that’s their decision. It doesn’t mean the university is obligated to sell them.”
Jason Power, RyeSAC’s v.p. administration, doesn’t feel selling cigarettes will hurt Ryerson’s reputation.
“Just because we’re selling them, doesn’t mean we’re encouraging people to smoke,” he said. “There is a demand for cigarettes at the bar. We are trying to provide a service that students are going off campus to get.”
While RyeSAC doesn’t expect to make much money selling smokes, McNichol suggests that any profits made could g toward a program to help students who want to quit smoking.
If the proposal is passed, the cigarettes would only be sold in the Ram in the Rye. The Oakham House Managing Committee will make a decision on the issue in the next two months.