By Erica Rodd
The letter written on Sept. 16 was quite clear in its message to users of the architecture building: Don’t smoke in here.
The notice states that anyone who tries to smoke indoors at 325 Church St. can be fined up to $5,000 by the City of Toronto. As well, the university would take “disciplinary action” against those students caught in the act.
In spite of the ubiquitous no-smoking signs that are posted throughout, cigarette butts litter the stairwells of the architecture building. Both Julia Lewis, Ryerson’s head of safety, and George Kapelos, the chair of the school, think the fact that the building is accessible 24 hours a day may contribute to the problem.
“There is a long history [of smoking] in the architecture building,” Lewis said. One third-year architecture student said he would never smoke in the stairwell during the day, but he has when “it was cold outside, my jacket was upstairs, it was 4 a.m., and I knew I wasn’t going to get caught.”
Kapelos said he has found butts around the building and wants to take a firm stand on getting smokers to go outside so as to keep those inside the building safe.
“People smoking in stairwells are causing a fire hazard,” he said. “It is illegal and I want it to stop.”
The no-smoking policy is also a city by-law and the letter is a reminder for people to abide by the rules, Kapelos said.
Lewis said smoking inside hasn’t been an issue when it comes to other faculty buildings.