The Paw Print
It has come to my attention in recent weeks that the Adams State Senate and Faculty have been discussing the possibility of transforming the Adams State campus into a completely smoke free campus.
A couple of weeks ago, a student filed a complaint with AS&F concerning smoking here on campus. According to the email, this student desired a campus in which smoking was completely and utterly not allowed. The student found smoking to be offensive and an infringement upon their personal freedom.
But what exactly is being infringed? Here on campus, as it stands today, smoking is not allowed inside any of the school buildings. Instead, smokers are required to stand approximately fifteen feet from the nearest building while in the process of actually smoking. While this regulation is often poorly enforced, it still conforms.
Regardless of whether you smoke or not, this campus is a public institution and has little right to completely ban smoking within college grounds. The college itself is paid for by the tax payers, over 20% of whom are smokers. In America, we as citizens have a choice to live as we so chose within certain guidelines. The choice of whether or not to smoke falls within our freedom of choice.
Why is it that the people who are offended by a certain action, however small the population may be, control so much of the power? One student complained concerning smoking here on campus, and suddenly AS&F is considering making changes to transform the campus into a completely non-smoking campus.
If I find cursing to be offensive should the campus take the steps necessary to do away with foul language? What about certain types of cologne? If I didn’t like the smell of a certain cologne and found the fragrance to be offensive, should the campus conform to my wishes and eliminate the use of certain colognes? Most people, I would hope, would agree to the fact that neither of these complaints should be backed by the campus. If I don’t care for cursing or fragrances, or in this case smoking, I have the right and the choice to avoid these situations as much as possible. Those who chose to partake in these actions have the same equal rights to do as they so desire.
AS&F held a forum on Tuesday to hear from concerned students regarding the issue. The results of the forum and the decision as to what direction AS&F will actually go are yet to be seen. Those interested in the issue are encouraged to contact AS&F to express their opinions.
2 responses to “Smoke Free Campus?”
I have to disagree. Comparing fragrances and foul language to second-hand cigarette smoke is illogical. Smelling someone’s overpowering cologne or overhearing someone repeatedly dropping the F-bomb is not going to contribute to my carcinogens exposure. While potentially offensive, those occurrences will not cause cancer.
What is frustrating about smoking on campus is that so many smokers congregate near building entrances and the 15-foot ordinance is not strictly enforced. This results in those who enter and exit the buildings to be subjected to second-smoke without a choice in the matter. Countless times I have had to walk through a cloud of second-hand smoke while entering a building on campus; I have also had to follow a trail of smoke while walking along campus sidewalks. And believe it or not, the odor of cigarette smoke is offensive to many. For me, just being around cigarette smoke for a couple of minutes will trigger a migraine.
It stands to reason that if smokers constitute only 20% of the total population, then the remaining 80% majority should have the democratic power to demand the right to avoid second-hand smoke. I don’t care if smokers want to pollute their own bodies with 43 known carcinogens, but please don’t impose them upon me or other non-smokers. There are plenty of other carcinogen exposures over which we citizens have no control. It is not necessary to ban smoking on campus completely, but I would like to see designated areas far away from buildings and sidewalks so non-smokers are not forced to inhale second-hand smoke.
Higher education’s purpose is to enlighten us, to empower us to think critically, and strive to make progressive changes in our world. Since scientific research proves that tobacco and second-hand smoke is hazardous to human health, our campus has a duty to make progressive changes by encouraging positive growth among its student body and providing a healthier environment for all.
Well said! I completely agree, even as a non-smoker who also hates smoke.