Staff Editorial: Campus smoking policy

Editorial Board of The Lawrentian

There has been much discussion lately about Student Welfare Committee’s proposed campus-wide smoking ban. When the ban was originally proposed, it was met with much opposition by both smokers and non-smokers on campus. An LUCC meeting on the proposed ban had an unusually high attendance. LUCC has decided to table the campus-wide smoking ban so that “more input from the Lawrence community” can be heard.

Given the controversial nature of Student Welfare Committee’s proposal, LUCC was wise to encourage further discussion, and hold a final decision for a later time. We at The Lawrentian commend the students who have already voiced their opinions on the matter to LUCC, and encourage more to do the same.

LUCC discussions have also raised the concern that the current smoking halo restrictions are confusing and poorly enforced. In general, the smoking restrictions on campus are rather hazy. There are ashtrays around campus which designate the “no smoking areas” but these markers are far too vague and seem to encourage smoking around them. Thus, even though most students have a general idea of where the halos exist, these restrictions are often blatantly ignored.

We hope that LUCC will address these issues with smoking policy in the future. Solutions to these problems could include creating more clearly-designated smoking areas outside of each academic and residence building. We also encourage LUCC to continue to include students in the decision making process about smoking on campus.

Admittedly, our current campus smoking policy is not without flaws. While a campus-wide ban may not be the answer, it’s proposal has started a much needed discussion. LUCC will be holding an open forum on this issue later in the term, and we encourage all interested students — both smokers and non-smokers — to attend and voice their opinion.

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