Problem: USC is expanding its current tobacco policy to make campus completely tobacco-free. The current policy prohibits the use of tobacco products within 25 feet of university-owned and –leased buildings, vehicles and other property. The proposed policy change is an expansion to a blanket ‘campus-free’ tobacco policy.
Pro Tobacco Ban
By: Grace Kerley
The Carolinian Creed outlines standards that all students should strive to follow in order to maintain an environment of dignity and harmony. The current tobacco policy violates this because students that use tobacco on campus are disrespecting the rights and property of others. Personal property includes one’s body, and those who choose to smoke on campus are disrespecting our bodies.
The current tobacco policy requires that students smoke 25 feet away from all University of South Carolina buildings. Besides the fact that very few smokers in the Carolina community follow this rule, the policy needs to be changed because it is not the buildings that are being harmed by tobacco users, but peers who face the long-term consequences of secondhand smoke.
Tobacco use on our campus needs to be banned because the current policy contradicts the very doctrine that binds our community. When students are called into question about their academic integrity, professors and faculty often reference the Carolinian Creed. Why is it that student smokers are given a pass to break the rules? We don’t need to change the current tobacco policy because we’re tired of sitting next to people in class that reek of smoke. We need to change it because the only way we will grow as a university is by challenging every member of the Carolina community to not only follow the Carolinian Creed, but to respect it and make sure other students do as well.
Con Tobacco Ban
By: Joybelle Barlow
As a student who doesn’t smoke, my first thoughts regarding the tobacco ban revolved around the thought, “Who cares?” I certainly don’t. Smoking on campus has never bothered or affected me, and in fact, I hardly ever notice it. Taking a closer look though, this ban isn’t just going to affect those who use tobacco. It will take a toll on all USC students, faculty and staff, and perhaps the community as a whole.
1.) In order to enforce this university-wide tobacco ban, USC police will be on foot, patrolling campus looking for the use of tobacco products. So, if you love seeing police throughout the day, this ban is perfect for you.
2.) Tobacco is legal for people 18 or older. Why can’t people who are of age be allowed to consume a product they have every right to? It is a matter of personal liberty to use a legal substance as long as you don’t affect other people. Essentially, the ban is an infringement of personal rights based on people’s personal beliefs.
3.) The tobacco ban will change our current policy of being 25 feet away from university owned or leased buildings to a blank campus-wide smoke-free policy which bans all forms of tobacco. One of the objectives of this change is to get rid of second hand smoke. However, chewing tobacco, which doesn't even affect bystanders, would be banned under this tobacco-free policy. As products such as chewing tobacco are subject to free will, how is eliminating tobacco products that don't even affect bystanders relevant?
The fact of the matter is that we have it correct to start with. The current policy is enough and trying to ban all tobacco products might cause more problems than solutions. Anyone on campus, regardless of being a student or visitor, would have to adhere to the tobacco ban under the watch of police patrolling the campus. Why fix what isn’t broken?