Smokers are displeasing. It’s simply a fact. No one walks by a row of people lighting up, smells that gross combination of nicotine, tobacco and rat poison only cigs can deliver, and thinks “I wish this happened — everywhere — all the time.” It’s this widely-shared angst that has led the Associated Students of CSU –– your student government –– to explore whether they should prohibit smoking cigs from campus. On Wednesday night, ASCSU Health Director Audrey Purdue presented the results of a student government study that revealed 53 per cent of students and 63 per cent of faculty and staff support a smoke-free ordinance.
What’s disturbing is the idea that our student government would ever make the main decision to move forward with a ban that would sacrifice minority rights. Especially when their reason would be to satisfy the opinion of the majority of teens who think smoking’s just plain annoying.
Rights shouldn’t be disregard simply because they annoy inhabitants. Being quietly bothered by someone’s actions is not a valid cause to take away someone’s freedom to do whatever that may be.
Those campus ministers, be they political or religious radicals, ruthless bother students who just want to make it from one end of campus to the other in peace.
They may make our brain smoke, but that doesn’t mean we should prohibit their right to open their mouths.
Purdue stressed that ASCSU is still in the process of collecting the university’s opinion on the issue, promising to hold public forums that would allow students to speak their mind in a more informal way. She also said that student government hasn’t yet determined what they need to know to officially commit to push for a smoking ban.
Student government, as you continue to develop a position, make sure you remember to only limit someone’s freedom when they start to infringe upon the freedom of others.