Letters to the Editor

After reading the past two weeks of smoking-related articles, I feel it necessary to state my input on this issue. Let me first say that I agree with Nuha Absumara’s article, which claims that an individual’s right to smoke should not be infringed upon by the “pretentious” coughing of someone who disagrees with his or her habits. I also agree with the statement that smokers themselves are responsible, not only for their own health, but for disposing of their waste to protect the health of the environment and others.

Here is what I feel must be done about smoking at the university: smokers should have clearly delineated areas where smoking is permitted and where they can relax without fear of disturbing others. This can, and should, be as simple as placing a smoking sign right next to ashtrays, and placing ashtrays in more secluded areas.
I am not saying this as a non-smoker trying to segment smokers off from the rest of society: when I personally smoke my pipe in public, it’s difficult to find a place where it doesn’t disturb anyone. If these areas are created, smokers could relax in peace, and all but the most proselytizing of passersby could easily avoid secondhand smoke.

While it is the duty of each smoker to ensure that our rights do not interfere with anyone else’s, I feel that this action by the university would make it easier for smokers to uphold our duties to the people with whom we share this space.

Nathan Directo is a third-year history major. He can be reached at directon@uci.edu.

After reading last week’s editorial on Starbucks, I was so relieved to see that there were others out there who shared my grievances about the UC Irvine Starbucks. I could not agree more with all aspects of the article.

I consider myself to be a huge supporter of Starbucks and its company values. Before I came to UCI this year, I would frequent Starbucks on a near-daily basis. I would go to the Starbucks near my house so often that all of the baristas knew my name and my order, which caused my friends and family to give me the nickname of “The Starbucks Addict.” Whenever I’d go to Starbucks, the workers would make small talk with me about my day or other aspects of my life, and after a while it felt as though I was ordering coffee from a good friend instead of from a complete stranger. The customer service made a huge difference in my Starbucks experience, and I have to admit that it provided a huge reason to keep coming back.

When I started school at UCI this year, I was so excited that there was a Starbucks on campus. I couldn’t wait to spend hours studying or writing here, all while enjoying delicious drinks and being surrounded by friendly employees. After being here for a few months, I have yet to experience at least one component of my expectations.

The most obvious reason as to why my expectations have not been met is that the quality of drinks is clearly not the same as other Starbucks. I have had to go back and request that corrections be made to my drink at least five times over the past few months.. The way I see it is this: I’m paying almost $5 for a cup of coffee. It better be good for that exorbitant price.

Adding to the drink mistakes, the customer service is severely lacking. Although there have been a few exceptions, there is a general trend of unhappy workers that definitely do not add to my Starbucks experience.

I keep telling myself that I will give this Starbucks one more chance – a part of me is in denial over how I could ever see any Starbucks in a negative light. However, if these habits continue to persist, I may have to trek down to the Starbucks near Albertson’s instead (and that’s saying a lot coming from a student who does not own a car). I hate to reiterate such a negative perspective, but there must be a problem when even a Starbucks addict is complaining.

Jessica Pratt is a first-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at jrpratt@uci.edu.