Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

Students clean up butts

Don’t like cigarette butts cluttering up your campus? Neither do the University of Massachusetts students who volunteered last Sunday to collect stray ones across campus for the fourth annual “No Butts About It” event. 

Stations were set up outside of Franklin, Worcester and Berkshire Dining Commons from 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday, where participating students were given a pair of latex gloves and a zip-lock bag to hunt for cigarette butts. The event was organized by the Student Health Advisory Board (SHAB), which serves as a liaison between students and University Health Services. 

The purpose of “No Butts About It” is to raise awareness of the pernicious environmental effects of smoking, rather than just the health risks.

“We aren’t saying not to smoke but to be more cautious of where you dispose of cigarettes,” said Tom Schiff, supervisor of the Student Health Advisory Board. From the lawn of the W.E.B. Du Bois to dormitory areas, students spent the afternoon picking up the remnants of once-smoked cigarettes. According to Schiff, “If you look around a dorm building you can see hundreds of cigarette butts. We want people to keep in mind that the campus is our home.”

Another goal of the event was to help foster, in smokers, a more courteous demeanor toward those around them by acknowledging the risks of second-hand smoke.   

“There are huge amounts of evidence that smoking is harmful to people around us. So people should move away from entrances and think about their neighbors,” said Schiff.  

According to SHAB President Nathan Colon, “The process of making cigarettes takes a toll on the planet. Everyone always learns about the personal affects of smoking, but the environmental impacts are neglected. It takes 25 years for cigarette butts to decompose, so often they are there for people’s lifetime.”

Cigarette butts have a negative impact on the environment by being harmful to animals and forest. The tobacco industry burns as much as one acre of forest for every acre of tobacco. Many animals and fish eat cigarette butts by mistake and die because their bodies have no way to digest the filters.

Last year, students collected 12 pounds of cigarette butts, and about 30 students participated. “This year over 60 students signed up,” said Schiff.

Students were asked to return the collected butts to a designated station so that they can be on display for the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smoke-Out.” The “Great American Smoke-Out” is a day when smokers stop smoking for the day and hopefully continue trying to quit after. Now in its 31st year, the event takes place every third Thursday in November.

“On this day, millions of Americans choose to quit smoking. Most people who smoke want to quit smoking, but it takes a number of attempts,” said Schiff.

There will be a table set up in the campus center Nov. 19 in honor of this event, when collected cigarette butts will be on display. Last year, students in the art department created art work and sculptures out of the butts.

“The purpose of the event is to be an eye-opener to the campus. We want students to realize the number of cigarettes left behind and what it’s doing to the environment,” said Colon.

Lisa Linsley can be reached at llinsley@student.umass.edu.

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