Smoking policy raises questions of fairness
January 18, 2010 —
With policy-makers around the country cracking down on smokers, some students have found themselves questioning the fairness of the rules on campus.
On campus, people are allowed to smoke only in residential orlettered parking lots.
“I don’t think it’s fair at all,” said Claudia Wardlaw, a criminal justice sophomore. “Some of my friends smoke, and most of the time there aren’t parking lots right outside your door if you live in the dorms,” she said. “And I don’t think it’s a good idea, especially for a girl to walk way out to the parking lot alone, especially at night.”
But other students have a drastically different opinion.
“I think that the policy should ban smoking like Delta College, because it might help smokers quit,” said elementary education sophomore Amy Lee. “And I do think it’s fair, because if you don’t want to abide by SVSU’s policies, then you shouldn’t go here.”
Other students take a more neutral stance on the smoking policy.
“As a non-smoker, I think it’s fair,” said biochemistry junior Amie Hao, chuckling. “But I have a lot of friends that smoke, and I don’t know if they would say it’s fair. It’s hard for them in the winter when it’s so cold.”
And for smoking commuters, the smoking policy doesn’t pose much of a problem, one student says.
“I usually just go to my car and smoke,” said mechanical engineering junior Jeffrey Persails.
Whether or not the policy is fair doesn’t make a difference to some students, as they say it isn’t really enforced anyway.
“I see all kinds of people smoking in the courtyard, in front of doors to the buildings, under the atrium between Brown and Wickes, the courtyard side of the Groening Commons,” Persails said.
On the other hand, Lee, along with many other students, say it is frustrating to encounter other people’s smoke as they walk through campus.
“I always walk through it,” Lee said. “I just don’t want it in my face.”
Hao and Persails think that if the school acknowledged more of smokers’ needs, it might help enforce the policy.
“It’s a decent-sized campus, and it would take extra employees to enforce the policy at all times,” Persails said. “I think it would help if they put an awning or something up near the parking lot for when it rains.”
Hao said that if students who smoke weren’t forced to go so far from the doors during cold winter months, the policy would be more fair and the people more likely to abide by it.