Picket Editorial: Smoke Free Campus

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We at the Picket are aware the possibility of a smoking ban on the Shepherd campus is a sensitive subject. However, instead of a complete smoking ban or dismissal of a smoking ban, we would like to see stricter enforcement of non-smoking policies on campus and support the inclusion of designated areas on campus.

Smoking is currently prohibited 25 feet in front of any university building and completely prohibited inside any building. This restriction is not harshly enforced, causing many of the student issues discussed in our news article about the smoking ban. Many smokers stand directly in front of or to the side of doorways to university buildings, which is certainly less than the required 25 feet. This infraction causes non-smoking students to “walk through clouds of smoke” to reach their classrooms and destinations.

We are in full support of free speech and free rights. Smokers should not have their right to participate in any activity denied while on campus. The Picket agrees with the idea of designated smoking areas as suggested by SGA president, Alana Gondeck.

However, the university does forbid any actions harmful or detrimental to an individual student’s or several students’ health. Illegal drug use and underage drinking have severe disciplinary consequences if found on campus.

As health conscious students and several non-smokers, we ask that smokers please be considerate of others’ health needs and issues. It is incredibly rude to walk through the intersection or up the East Campus hill while blowing smoke behind you, leaving a Nicotine trail for non-smokers to follow. Some students may be allergic to cigarette smoke or more sensitive to the smell than others.

As a campus community, we pride ourselves on promoting causes that condone respect for all students of every nationality, sexuality, religion and ideology. Can we also promote causes which impact students’ health as well, such as enforcing the non-smoking policies currently in place?