Next month, the Board of Regents will vote on a proposal that would completely outlaw tobacco products on any and all University System campus grounds, regardless of what it is, or where you are.
This includes inside automobiles, regardless of if the USG owns them or not. Think about that for a second, the USG plans to dictate what you can or can’t do with a legal product in your own property.
The Spectator believes that this policy is absurdly heavy-handed and draconian; a policy that won’t work if passed. For starters, the USG has no right to tell us what we can and can’t do with a presently legal product in our own property, a product not prohibited from use in machinery by law in the state of Georgia.
We have doubts as to how this policy will actually be enforced, if it becomes enforced. Why? Well, when was the last time you saw our current smoking policy enforced? More to the point, have you ever even seen our smoking policy enforced?
The answer is most likely never. Students openly light up anywhere outdoors on campus, regardless of how close or how far they are from doors, or vents, or windows, instead of the current policy of 20 feet from doors, vents, or windows. Here at the Spectator, we have no problems with that current policy. For the most part, people here at VSU are actually not bombarded with smoke unless you walk over to the smoking oasis at Hopper or the trees in front of the Odum Library, or if you’re walking right behind a smoker at the pedestrian mall.
Here’s an idea then: If you’re that bothered by smoke, avoid those areas. Avoid walking right behind a smoker. You won’t get secondhand smoke by just walking around outside.
If this new policy comes into place, who’s to say VSU will be able to enforce it? How do you think someone will react if they’re smoking a cigarette away from everybody, but they’re told to put it out anyway? And how do you think someone will react if they’re told that they have to put out a cigarette in a car that they own?
Here at the Spectator, we think that the USG have no right to dictate the policy of property that isn’t theirs.