Disclaimer: Smoking is injurious to one’s health.
A few weeks ago, social media was abuzz with news that NUST was making a designated area for students who wanted to smoke. For a university which prohibited smoking on campus and actually fined those caught smoking, this was a big deal.
And of course, for a university which is notoriously strict, this was a huge deal. And of course, people were talking about it.
NUST has designated smoking zones now. Not sure if that is progress
— N (@__Dragunov) September 17, 2018
So NUST has smoking zones now.
Nice very nice.
— Saadoon Hammad (@Saadoon_hammad) September 14, 2018
While some people appreciated the initiative, some were still on the fence about the development.
But while the designated smoking area seems like a step forward for the university, when you read the fine print you realize that it’s really not too progressive at all.
Accompanied by a map of the campus to point out the designated smoking areas, there was a notice highlighting certain rules which students would still have to follow. The notice states the fines students will have to pay if they are caught smoking outside the designated areas.
But guess what? Female students at NUST will be fined regardless of where they smoke.
We talked to a few NUST students and asked them what they thought about the policies. The students spoke to us on the condition of anonymity since they were afraid of repercussions from the university administration otherwise.
A female student commented on how disgusting the entire situation was for female students, “They say they will contact girls’ parents if they are even caught in the smoking areas as well as the fine, whereas boys if caught smoking OUTSIDE smoking areas will only be fined.”
Yep, you read that right. The notice states that female students at NUST will be fined even if they are FOUND in the smoking areas. This implies that even if female students are found in the area and not smoking they will be fined. And not only will they be fined but their parents or guardians will be informed of their behaviour. WTF.
While a male student commented the following, “It’s sexist af and it doesn’t affect me at all. Boys and girls have the same lungs and the smoke affects them both equally.”
While another female student was just tired of the university’s sexism overall and said “NUST is so sexist. Everything from the hostel curfew to the smoking area is in the boy’s favour.”
Basically, not even the student body is happy with how sexist these rules are. How are male students smoking acceptable while female students will not only be fined but tattled on? The issue is clearly more deeply rooted than one would first imagine. The age-old issue of women’s ghairat comes into question where the entire society feel like they can control women’s actions and make them do what they want.
What do you think about NUST’s sexist policy? Let us know in the comments!
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