By Joshua Thorp
Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: “Disappointment over SU smoking policy,” Sept. 23, 2004
It sounds to me that Smoke-Free U of C Comittee Chair Joan McDonald believes that the average student at the University of Calgary is in the 4th grade. Her arguments are weak and it sounds like she has nothing better to do than impose her will on the students here at the university.
First, I’d like to point out that permittance does not necessarily imply encouragement. We are not all being encouraged to smoke. I’m permitted to drive my car by the government, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m encouraged to. In fact, I’m encouraged to take public transit!
Why is it that if some people don’t partake in an activity, they don’t want anyone else to? Does it bother them that much to see someone else smoking that they have to stop them? Yes, smoking is bad for you. This has been established, it’s not anything new. However, we are all adults (for the most part) here, and therefore allowed to make our own decisions. If someone is smoking outside, it is simple enough for you to walk away from it. There are plenty of places on campus where smoking is banned, i.e. everywhere indoors.
I’m not writing this because I want to smoke anywhere I can (in fact I don’t even smoke), however, I feel that the Students’ Union wouldn’t be embracing our democratic rights if they passed these bills [banning smoking] without even putting it up in a referendum. As well, to all of you non-smokers, would you rather have a few people giving their money freely to the SU (in tobacco sales), or would you rather have higher fees next year for the SU?