Clouds of smoke need to part for compromise sun to shine through
Published: Monday, October 17, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 16:10
It's time for Student Government to start beating the dead horse again.
Every year the words ‘Smoking Ban' get thrown around here as much as ‘sustainability' and ‘football program.' And as I've remained the past three years, I'm all for smokers rights on campus.
Years ago, Student Government created the designated smoker spot in between Reed and Whitaker Hall.
This stroke of genius placed smokers right in the middle of one of the most crowded walkways on campus.
There is consistent cigarette pollution occurring where a majority of students walk to class.
The smell not only hangs around during the day when there are active smokers present, but the malodorous stench of cigarettes remains after hours, too.
I might be a non-smoker, but I understand one's need to smoke, and it's not up to the school to make these choices for students.
On the flip side, walking through clouds of smoke on route to class isn't something that's enjoyable, and redirecting the path to class to avoid smoke isn't always in the cards.
It's important for us not to blame the smokers at FGCU for this problem.
They didn't create or choose their smoking stations--the school did. A ban on smoking punishes the smokers for a problem that they aren't creating.
There's plenty of areas on-campus where smoking can be enjoyed and out of the main space of the public.
Student Government needs to figure out a new smokers area to conciliate the relationship between the smoking and non-smoking communities at FGCU.
An out-right ban does nothing but punish the smokers who are forced to let their habits intrude on other students by way of this poorly chosen spot.
And with a ban, the smoker's station becomes obsolete, leaving students who will no doubt continue to smoke, but this time, anywhere they please.
A smoking ban will not only anger the smokers on campus, but if they continue to smoke on-campus without a sanctioned area, this will give non-smokers a real reason to blame those who continue to smoke, and thus creates more conflict.
This conflict could all be easily resolved by a new smoker's area, somewhere where foot traffic doesn't constantly pass through, and we can keep calm and carry on.