Welcome to Offbeat, The Diamondback podcast where we’ll dive into some of the most interesting stories on campus that diverge a bit from our typical coverage. 

For our first episode, we headed to the back of McKeldin Library to chat with a group that spends its time there talking, doing homework — and smoking.

The well-known spot is one of four designated smoking areas on an otherwise smoke-free campus. And though the smokers are sometimes subjected to glares and coughs, they told us how this spot has provided a sense of stability they can’t find anywhere else on campus.

Listen in on their conversations about worm theory and 90 Day Fiancé and a wager about why the Dalai Lama and Pope wear robes.

Normally, at the end of an episode, we’ll take a minute to answer some of your burning questions about campus oddities. (Think: what are those puffs of steam that waft up from the sidewalks and smell kind of weird?)

But today, in light of the demonstrators who camped outside of McKeldin last week, we felt a different question needs answering: Why were they allowed to stay after continually hurling insults and slurs at students? At what point would they be forced to leave, if ever? We checked in with a First Amendment law scholar and police officials to learn more.

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We’ll talk with you soon.