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Students react to Ryerson lifting Kerr Hall Quad smoking ban

By Aisha Jaffar

Did you know you can now smoke in the Kerr Hall Quad? Ryerson has lifted its ban on smoking in the beloved campus green space. I bet you didn’t, since you probably couldn’t see that Ryerson removed all of the “No smoking within 9 metres of entrance” signs through all the smoke.

Last Friday, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi appointed a task force to remove the signs (finally, a task force that actually did something).

“Lifting the smoking ban was never something we planned on doing,” said Lachemi. “But when Juul offered us $500,000 to lift the ban and rename the quad ‘Juul Outdoor Vape Lounge,’ we said hey, why not?”

The Eyeopener conducted socially distanced interviews with people in the quad, asking them if they even knew Ryerson lifted the ban. Our reporters stayed six feet apart in order to not catch COVID-19—or breathe in all that second-hand smoke.

“Are you joking? I’ve been smoking grass on that grass for a while now,” said Roger Redeye, a second-year engineering student. “You’re telling me I’ve been breaking the law? Oh no. No, no, no, no.”

After frantically walking around the quad in circles trying (and failing) to find one of the three very obvious exits, Redeye finally calmed down. He found his way back to us and made a friendly offer: “Wanna get blazed and then hit up Blaze Pizza?”

Stress seems to be a leading factor in a student’s decision to smoke. A study conducted by Ryerson’s Facilities Management and Development team found that during midterms and final exams, at least twice the amount of cigarette butts and joint roaches are found littered on the ground in the quad compared to the rest of the year.

It seems that even professors at Ryerson had no idea about the old no-smoking rule. Or perhaps they were just ignoring it in order to try and be cool.

“Holy smokes!” said politics professor Nick O’Tine, blissfully aware he was making a dad joke. “I’ve been smoking here since I was a student at Ryerson, which was not that long ago; I’m still quite hip.”

While O’tine is most certainly not hip, even people that are hip didn’t know that you couldn’t smoke at the quad.

“Are you serious? I had no idea. My boys and I have been smoking there every day for three years,” said Mohammed Tambaku, an international student from Pakistan in his fourth-year of business management.

“Smoke Benson, no tension,” said Tambaku as he lit up a Benson & Hedges cigarette and asked us why Canada only has boring, plain-packaged cigarettes. In his opinion, they make his Insta stories look less cool. Mans got 99 problems and nicotine and social-media induced dopamine addictions are two of them.

On our way out of the Quad, we spoke to two squirrels, Squeaky and Nibbles. Squeaky was only capable of saying “chirp chirp chirp” while examining his tiny little paws in wonder, blinking very slowly.

Nibbles explained. “The homie’s really been struggling with the second-hand high. Dude just keeps saying the same thing over and over again and I think he just realized he doesn’t have thumbs” he said.

“Chirp chirp chirp,” said Squeaky.

Stay in school and don’t do drugs, kids. But hey, at least now you can legally smoke drugs in the quad—not that it stopped anyone before.

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