Friday, 20 March, 2015

The designated smoking areas on campus are a familiar sight to smokers and non-smokers alike, introduced last year as part of the university’s transition to being smoke free. While it’s easy to see them as utilitarian, uniform alcoves for sneaking a durry on the way to a lecture, there’s more to these smoky little spots than just smoking. Join me on my tour of some of Parkville’s smoking shelters to find out just what makes each one special. Let’s go.

Seating area – Kernot Road

Our journey starts at the shelter outside the engineering building, likely the first shelter you’ll encounter walking into campus from Grattan street. Spacious and shaded, with plenty of seating, this is one of the nicest and most sociable areas for Melbourne’s tobacco connoisseurs. Located a convenient distance from House of Cards, it’s a perfect spot for some caffeine and carcinogens, however non-smokers may feel like they’re running the gauntlet of second hand smoke when cutting through.

Old Geology South

Up the stairs and through Alice Hoy building is easily the least appealing shelter on the tour; essentially a glass cubicle in a car park. Very little shading and no seating makes this spot unconducive to a social smoke, which could be seen as a positive, but really would just drive smokers to more amenable areas. Convenience for those in Richard Berry and Alice Hoy is its only drawcard, avoid if possible.

Union Lawn

Making our way to South court, we arrive at the most picturesque, convenient and socially conducive shelter in Parkville. Lush trees, plentiful seating with views of the heritage (nice) side of the architecture building, all located just seconds from the cheesy goodness of Pronto pizza. With such a good location, there’s no excuse not to smoke here.

Ross McKay Courtyard

Moving through and past ERC, we come to this quite pleasant shack. Located out the front of Tsubu bar, it’s ideal for those looking to quickly duck away from their beers for a smoke. Also handy for Lot 6 customers. Well shaded with adequate seating, it deserves mention among the better shelters.

Outside David Caro Building

For those hard working physicists in need of a smoko is this little spot. Within a few steps of Castro’s kiosk, offering views of the new architecture building, it wouldn’t be a bad place for a smoker to pass some time. However if you hate the architecture building and don’t much fancy the sight of the Soviet inspired Redmond Barry, it’s best to give this one a miss.

North Court

This little nook doesn’t appear on the official smoking areas map, but isn’t really worth seeking out. It’s cramped and has been largely superseded by the car park next to it which functions as a de-facto designated area. What this shelter does have going for it is that it’s on North court, easily accessible for anyone craving a cigarette after feasting on free sausages and beer.