Thursday, October 4, 2012

Story 2: Campus clears the smoke

 By: Erik Laurel

Texas State University became a tobacco free campus on Aug. 1, 2011. The new policy banned smoking on all parts of the campus and will soon give university police the authority to issue citations to violators. 

18-year-old Ben Lawson, a marketing major, likes the ban because the smoke could affect his pneumonia. But, he is also sympathetic to smokers on campus. “I appreciate the ban but I also feel like there should be a system,” said Lawson, “people have the right to smoke and should not be ticketed at first.”

Another student who believes in amending the ban is 21-year-old student Brookney Hill. She thinks there should be a designated smoking area on campus. “We have liberties that can’t be taken away,” said Hill, “there should be a designated area.”

Adding to the consensus, Madeline Hays, a 20-year-old junior, disagrees with the ban. Hays said, “we’re all adults and if we choose to indulge in, you know, cigarettes, then we should be able to.” Hays feels that the ban won’t last very long and sees no evidence of it being well enforced.

Chynna Ayala, a 19-year-old former student at University of Texas at San Antonio, said her previous campus had a similar smoking ban, but there were designated smoking areas. Ayala thinks the university should be more flexible with the smoking ban.

On the other hand, 23-year-old Edward Gutierrez agrees with the new rule. “There should be some kind of smoking restriction,” said Gutierrez, “if not a campus-wide ban, then at least restricted in the main areas near buildings.”

Some students were also neutral on the topic. 18-year-old Ben Gleason, a business finance major, said the ban doesn’t really affect him. “I’m impartial, I don’t really care,” said Gleason.

Students’ opinion on the ban varied from smoker to non-smoker. For it, against it, or indifferent, they all understand the health risks of smoking.

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