Councillor wants ciggys out of Alley

Fred Wu says selling smokes goes against USC's mandate

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Buying a pack of cigarettes over the counter

Justin Wu

TOSS IN A FORTY OF MALT LIQUOR AND YOU'VE GOT YOURSELF A VICE SANDWICH! Will the sale of cigarettes eventually be stopped from Mustang Alley? They will if the USC's Science councillor Fred Wu has his druthers.

If you’re hoping to buy cigarettes from Mustang Alley, you better hurry before they are gone.

At least, so the story goes if a University Students’ Council councillor has his way.

Science councillor Fred Wu, a third-year microbiology and immunology student, put forward a motion at the USC Council meeting last night that will investigate the necessity of cigarettes to Mustang Alley’s sales.

The motion stated the internal review committee would determine the financial need Mustang Alley has for cigarette sales and present all findings at the next council meeting in two weeks.

If the internal review committee shows stopping the sale of cigarettes will not negatively affect Mustang Alley operations, Wu plans to propose a motion to stop cigarette sales.

Wu explained some of his constituents approached him and felt Mustang Alley selling cigarettes was “inconsistent with the USC’s mandate.”

Wu cited the USC’s motto “To enhance the educational experience and quality of life for all undergraduates at the University of Western Ontario,” did not seem to fit with the sale of cigarettes.

“It seems like kind of a basic thing,” Wu said. “Don’t kill the members of the Western community ... with half the frequent smokers dying of smoking-related illnesses, selling cigarettes doesn’t seem to enhance the quality of life.

“I hope that Mustang Alley will not order any more cigarettes, sell all remaining cigarettes in stock, and then give the profit from these sales to a smoking support group on campus,” Wu said.

Carla Di Pietro, general manager for Mustang Alley, said she had yet to hear about the motion.

“Nobody has contacted me yet,” she said.

Wu stressed he did not think there was a need for immediate action, which is part of the reason he had yet to contact Mustang Alley.

“I think [the sale of cigarettes] is an issue that needs to be publicly debated in front of the council,” Wu said: “And I think the internal review committee is the best way to do this.”

How important are cigarettes to Mustang Alley’s daily operations?

“We’re rather unique with regards to a traditional convenience store,” Di Pietro said. “Without getting into specific numbers, cigarettes are not really a vital part of sales.”

Di Pietro was neutral on whether the USC should stop the sale of cigarettes at Mustang Alley.

“If it was deemed that the students wanted that and [the USC] decided that way, that would be fine,” Di Pietro said.

Smokers seemed nonchalant about the issue.

Matt Granger, a third-year criminology student at King’s University College, said he rarely bought his cigarettes from Mustang Alley.

“It’s inconvenient for me to buy them [at Mustang Alley],” he explained. “It’s actually more convenient for me to buy them off-campus.”

Ian Colterjohn, a fourth-year Business Management and Organizational Studies student, agreed.

“I don’t really care [if Mustang Alley stops selling cigarettes],” he said. “In fact, I don’t think they should sell them anyway. It’s a bad image for the university.”

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette