Smoking issue far from over


The Editorial Board

Issue: SA repealed its original, controversial resolution concerning a campus-wide smoking ban and has replaced it with a new one.

We truly appreciate the work of Senators Shad Christman and Kate Wegehaupt, who sponsored the new resolution titled “Smoking Policy Student Survey.” They recognized the flaws with the original resolution and took the initiative to make a better, more neutral-sounding resolution.

The main difference is the implementation of a survey with several options (see A3 for a sample of the survey) on the SA election ballot rather than a simple yes or no vote on a campus-wide smoking ban. This is the part we appreciate. It at least makes it more likely that an all-out outdoor ban on all tobacco will not get a plurality of the vote (yes, one option is actually a ban on all tobacco use, including smokeless tobacco).

The outcome will most likely be in favor of more regulation of smoking. Yes, it’s just for informational purposes, but use your heads. Why is this data being collected? A governing body 8212; whether it be SA, Student Federation, SDSU administration or the Board of Regents 8212; will use this information to pursue further regulation of tobacco use. It’s just a matter of what body and when.

When it comes down to it, the new resolution is not much different than the old one. The new resolution is still putting your personal choices to the mercy a popularity contest.

This is the heart of the matter: personal choice. The idea that this is about the health of non-smokers is rubbish. If you are outside and the current 25-foot distance policy is followed, how can second-hand smoke not be avoidable? If this is about non-smokers’ health, why is smokeless tobacco even being mentioned?

This is about people with power believing they can make decisions for you. Even if 99 percent of students surveyed say they want a tobacco-free campus, is it really OK to place a personal choice at the whims of a collectivist mentality?

Whatever the outcome of this survey, SA should fight higher powers from going any further with any sort of tobacco-free campus policy.

This is a contentious issue that, with the inclusion of the survey on the ballot, will surely affect the outcome of some senate seats. Some senators, like Sen. Marissa Grantra, were worried that this would overshadow other issues. Why shouldn’t it? The controversy this issue caused shows that it is an issue students care about. There were numerous comments on our website; long Facebook debates took place. For once a group of students came to an SA meeting for reasons other than getting a budget or club constitution approved. Clearly it’s an issue that many on both sides care a lot about, and many students would vote for senators based on this issue.

And that’s why we’re going to let you know where your SA presidential and senatorial candidates stand on this issue. On Feb. 23, The Collegian is publishing a voter guide. Along with detailed outlines of the candidates and their platforms, we are going to have them make clear their intentions on the issue so you, the student, can make an informed decision.

Stance: Conclusion: The new resolution is an improvement, but the only way to ensure your desired outcome on the issue is to vote for candidates that will pursue your interests. In both the survey and in electing candidates, we hope you side with the freedom of the individual.

Editorial Board:

Tony Gorder, Editor-in-Chief

Emma DeJong, Managing Editor

Elizabeth Reiss, Opinion Editor

The editorial board meets and agrees on the issue of the editorial. While every individual staff member may not agree with what is written, the editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.