Smokers on campus are uniting in and outside of cyber space.
After moving into Picken Hall this year, several students formed the Picken Smokers Club via the online social network, facebook.com.
Simpson students have taken to the Web site in droves: over 850 of Simpson’s 2,035 students. Many, if not all, of them are members of one club or another. Simpson-affiliated clubs on facebook.com include: Simpson College Transfers, the No Underwear Club and the Napping in Random Places Club.
The smokers’ group meets roughly five times a day in front of Picken where group members smoke one or two cigarettes per meeting.
PSC was created in its online version by sophomore Joe Siegle to increase the club’s sociability.
According to sophomore Justin Gilkerson, the club serves as a way to relieve the stress of college life.
“It gets us outside instead of being cramped in our dorms,” Gilkerson said. “We really get into the great outdoors during meetings. The native wildlife, opossums and squirrels, are really cool to look at when we’re out here.”
When the PSC gained popularity in mid-October, club members decided to obtain a couch, two easy chairs and a coffee table. According to group members, Simpson’s campus-services workers did not think the furniture outside Picken reflected well on the college.
Members of PSC say they do more than smoke cigarettes when meeting. They gossip, discuss schoolwork and solicit new members.
Currently the group utilizes a plastic chair and love seat during meetings. Blankets and pillows are often used to increase the comfort level for PSC members.
Members of the Napping In Random Places club also utilize their pillows and blankets during the week for taking a snooze in Buxton Park, outside apartment buildings, and in the future, BSC.
Junior Julius Kilpatrick is a founding member of NIRP.
“I was hanging out at [senior] Erin Disney’s apartment and the day before, they had taken a nap outside and asked if I wanted to join sometime,” Kilpatrick said. “Then the idea came up that we start a NIRP club.”
Kilpatrick said the club is open to any member who wants to join – people only need to bring their own sleeping gear.
“We’re expanding our activities,” Kilpatrick said. “In a couple weeks we’re sleeping in the student center and having movies.”
The NIRP club welcomes all members, and currently has 11 members and 80 groupies. Suggested napping locations and times are sent out via the member list on facebook.com.
“Anyone is welcome to join,” Kilpatrick said. “All you have do is grab a sleeping bag and join in the fun.”