What: 4/20 smoke-out
When: Wednesday, 4:20 p.m.
Where: Norlin Quad, CU-Boulder
While some students are planning to spend this afternoon among the crowds on Norlin Quad celebrating 4/20, others are hoping to stay as far from the chaos as possible.
But, avoiding the festivities is nearly impossible for students and professors who are attending classes on the Boulder campus this afternoon.
Last year's 4/20 smoke-out -- a gathering of students and locals, some protesting the legalization of marijuana -- drew in nearly 10,000 people on the field in front of Norlin Library.
For CU freshman Alexis Keeney, avoiding the crowds will be key to making it to class at all, since her broken leg and crutches have already made her late a few times.
"I've already been thinking about how I'm going to get to my classes tomorrow," Keeney said. "I'll have to avoid the Quad and Farrand Field if I stand any chance of making it on time, which will be hard because my dorm is right by Farrand."
Keeney will be taking the long way around campus from one class to another, but she said she's not too worried about being late since "teachers don't really care because they feel bad when they see the crutches."
E-mails sent to students, faculty and staff from university administrators Tuesday said that classes would continue as scheduled today.
"Classes will be held on Wednesday on the normal schedule, and faculty have been advised to strictly adhere to their pre-arranged academic schedules," the e-mail to students states. "The best advice we have for you is to not participate in this event that disrupts the important work on campus, devalues your degree and the reputation of your university, and exposes you to the prospect of university discipline and an expensive fine."
Matt Pike, a CU graduate student and philosophy instructor, said he's lucky not to have classes on Wednesdays.
"I'll be avoiding campus like a plague," Pike said.
Pike said he plans to use the festivities as a way to introduce his students to the concepts of government responsibility and drug legalization.
Pike will host an open discussion in his Introduction to Philosophy class on Thursday about 4/20 and its roots and implications.
Other faculty members said they chose not to make any changes to their plans for classes, in accordance with an e-mail from CU administration.
"We do not endorse the gathering at any level, or welcome it in any way," the e-mail states.
Kate Phelps, CU graduate student and linguistics instructor, said she's giving a class lecture at 2 p.m. on 4/20 and encouraged her students to attend.
"I told them I don't care what they do but that the lecture will be fun," Phelps said. "There's not much we can do so we'll continue with the lecture as planned and if students don't want to come then that's on them."
Joseph Rosse, CU business professor, said 4/20 does not impact his plans for classes.
"In general, my experience has been that attendance is down on 4/20, but most students show up, even when I've taught at 3," Rosse said. "Those who don't show are still held responsible for what they missed, just like any other day.
"Fundamentally, the majority attending 4/20 aren't CU students, so it's really not a big deal."
CU sophomore Allison Langley said she will not be participating in the smoke-out.
"I'm two years sober," Langley said. "Last year I had a pretty hard time with it, but I think it will be better this year.
"The worst part about it is feeling like an outcast for the day."
Other students said they were taking extra shifts at work, using the afternoon to study or going about their normal schedules.