The topic of smoking on campus is still tricky territory to talk about however it is imperative that the school reconsiders its complete ban of smoking on campus.
The White Elephant.
The big white elephant with smoking on campus has to be the just passed one year anniversary of the campus safety incident involving Luis Munoz – where Dino Skokos was reportedly involved in using excessive force on Munoz as he was smoking a cigarette, later detained on campus.
Although it is fine for security to enforce a policy on campus, it is unacceptable for needless action to be taken that would harm a student just because they smoke a cigarette on campus. It’s not an atrocious act when an adult smokes on a college campus, so should students feel the need to fear that the staff in charge to protect them could repeat an incident like this again?
What about the environmental aspect of potential litter on our school grounds?
Before last semester, the school has recently fitted a large flower pot filled with sand under the bridge, where students typically go to smoke. Although it doesn’t seem effective, it has significantly cleaned up most of the cigarette butts that used to accrue on the sidewalk and grass before the flower pot was put under the bridge.
The effects of the flower pot alone in a commonly used spot to use as an ashtray has had an astronomical effect as the cigarette butts would practically a dumping ground of ash and used cigarettes which have ruined a large portion of grass under the bridge.
To add on to possible solutions being put in place, in an AS Senate meeting on April 25, 2017, a resolution was called to motion under Resolution 015. It was noted that smoking on campus was apparent and the resolution would retrofit ashtrays on the trashcans placed in areas on campus or replacing the current trashcans with trashcans that have ashtrays already installed. The vote stood with 11 in approval, 7 in disapproval and 8 abstaining.
No further posted minutes from the Spring 2017 AS Senate after April 25, 2017 mentioned Resolution 015 again.
For an inexpensive option the school could take to further would be purchasing an amount of commercial-grade outdoor cigarette ashtrays and specialized trash receptacles which the lowest can cost a very frugal $30.94 for each receptacle.
If the school is making $46.00 per unit off of enrollment fees alone, it’s not absurd to think that administration can take action of further beautification of the campus by purchasing ashtrays that will immediately cut down on littering of cigarette butts and ashes that can collect on campus.
So where do students go to smoke?
At the moment there is no official designated spot for students on campus to smoke at. Currently, the small group of campus smokers gather under second and third arches of the school’s bridge that passes over Chapman Avenue accompanied with a large flower pot turned into an ashtray with little to no threat from campus safety for another repeat of the Munoz incident.
Besides under the bridge, students will really take any secluded spot that has no campus security hovering around and turn it into a smoking area. It’s not news that people still smoke in inconspicuous spots in many areas on campus.
If FC is going to ban smoking all together why should it be okay that the school has an unofficial zone where people go and smoke regardless of the “smoke-free campus” signs?
I would hope that these words don’t open a can of worms to where they do enforce the ban even under the “sanctuary” area – however I find it confusing that the school is going to be lax about this issue letting students still smoke on campus but calling for a ban. It’s ridiculous that it has to be in this limbo, make the executive decision to either completely ban it or find a compromise to where students can smoke in official designated areas.
Smoking bans don’t stop people from smoking on campus.
It’s inevitable that people will smoke regardless of bans, so why push for a campaign to ban when students will find a way to still break this rule?
This is a college campus where students are expected to be a mature productive adult and an institution of knowledge. Smoking is an activity that some adults do as is drinking alcohol, where bars are also conveniently placed down the streets from our campus.
And just like there is a very easy way to show up to school drunk, it’s obvious that some would like to show up to school with a pack of cigarettes to smoke. Being an adult happens on campus and in a bar in the SOCO district.
Although drinking alcohol and intoxication on campus is another subject, smoking cigarettes can still allow a student to function like a regular human being without potential risks of endangering other students like you can with driving under the influence.
There’s no denying that smoking on campus will start some issues between the smokers and nonsmokers as people who don’t smoke cigarettes typically don’t like the smell of smoke nor do they enjoy the negative health effects that come with inhaling smoke.
This argument isn’t denying the apparent health risks that come with smoking – it’s still an unhealthy habit that students partake in. Instead, the argument is asking for a revisit on the current state of where smoking on campus stands. It’s not difficult for the school to erect a few more unwanted flower pots and put them in an area where a significant amount of smoke will not blow onto campus.
To really lay down the main point of this opinion, I find that although smoking is an unhealthy habit, the school shouldn’t have to criminalize students from doing what they want to do. I won’t argue for the side of people that say that smoking bans infringe on their rights as that opens up the plethora of arguments like, “Why can’t we just smoke anything on campus?” It’s a foolish argument to have as it’s very easy to make an excuse for everything as long as people feel they’re rightfully entitled to do so.
With even the AS Senate putting Resolution 015 into motion, why do people like to act like smoking is still taboo? Smoking is very present in the adult world and the least the campus could do is designate official marks on the map to where students can enjoy a smoke.