Last year the Student Government Association made steps toward transforming Florida Southern College into a smoke-free campus. According to Michael Scott, SGA vice president of finance, the Board of Trustees has not made a ruling.
Former SGA president Ashley Gibson, was in office at the time the initiative was introduced. In a former Southern article Gibson was attributed with the following:
“As a group, we all decided that this is something we’re very passionate about. We worked together and saw the benefits for the campus as a whole.”
During last year’s October Convocation, 853 students were polled on whether or not they wanted the campus to go smoke-free. At the time, 63 percent of students said yes, although it appears that the subject was closer in to 50-50 in the SGA Senate.
Upwards of 750 other campuses in the nation have become entirely smoke-free. This means that the use of tobacco products is prohibited, although faculty and staff are excluded.
Approximately 70 percent of those campuses are completely tobacco-free. No tobacco products are allowed on the premises of the campus.
According to the American Cancer Society, 443,000 people in the United States die from tobacco use each year. Half of all smokers will die due to tobacco usage. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide and illegal drugs combined.
Kendall Kerge, a student athlete, is for a smoke-free campus.
“I really think it [a smoke free campus] would benefit all students. As an athlete, it is disheartening to see so many fellow students wasting their time on a bad habit,” Kerge said.
Although a smoke-free campus may be healthier than a smoking one, not all students are interested in the operation.
Ex-smoker Emily Hall disagreed with the movement towards a smoke-free campus.
Openly acknowledging the benefits a smoke-free campus would bring to the students, she took issue with what she sees as an impediment on student freedoms.
“Although I have quit smoking, I will never forget the constant annoyance of those telling me what I can and cannot do with my body,” Hall said.
She later went on to remark that having to leave campus every time smokers wanted a quick cigarette would be a great nuisance to the smokers.
“And an undeserving [nuisance] at that,” Hall said.
Currently Scott said that the SGA Executive Board is concentrating its efforts on other initiatives.
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