Smoking ban may create unnecessary tension on campus

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    TCU’s campus is filled with students who participate in various activities throughout the day, yet smoking is not a common one.

    Though the number of smokers on campus is low, SGA is looking to ban smoking and model other smoke-free campuses like the University of Texas.

    SGA members are furthering their support of a smoke-free campus after the House of Student Representatives failed to pass a resolution that would have strengthened the smoking laws already in place.

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    The 77-page student handbook states that students must smoke 25 feet away from any university building and violators are “subject to disciplinary action,” yet there is no enforcement or disciplinary action happening.

    Some of the ashtrays are even close to the entrances of buildings and dormitories, contributing to the confusion and uncertainty of the handbook rules.

    SGA should reevaluate the failure of this resolution and use it as a means to inform students and enforce the current rules in the handbook.

    TCU has made rules and not followed them. SGA should pass legislation that carries out the rules in place now, that students must be 25 feet away from any entrance. Students are not aware of the rules hidden in the dense handbook and better communication is necessary.

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    Also, designated smoking areas are not solutions either. Since there are low numbers of smokers on campus, putting them all in one spot would draw more attention to the act of smoking.

    Students with asthma will be more effected by a large number of smokers in one area, versus people scattered around campus smoking in accordance with the handbook rules.

    People should have the right to smoke on a campus that also allows students who are 21 years old to drink in an on-campus facility with others that are of the legal age.

    Overall, a smoking ban would create more tension between those that don’t smoke and those that do.

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    When something is banned, it makes people want to do it more.

    Smokers on campus are not going to stop smoking completely, they are going to find alternative ways. It is going to cause more trouble than it’s worth.

    As the SGA committee meets with Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for student affairs, to draft a policy that works for the university, they need to keep the specific situation of TCU’s campus in mind.

    TCU does not have a smoking problem. With better communication and stronger enforcement of the existing handbook rules, the students who choose to smoke will be able to freely and respectably smoke on campus.

    Executive Editor Abbie Maynard for the editorial board.