As a response to the spring election results on the smoking referendum, the Washburn Student Government Association’s Smoking Decision Committee enacted a smoking ban on Washburn’s campus. WSGA placed signs at several Memorial Union entrances that stated, “No Smoking within 30 feet of this entrance.” The trial will last until Nov. 17, and there is a townhall meeting scheduled Nov. 14 to discuss whether or not students like the ban.
The Washburn Review also wanted to know what the students thought about the smoking ban, so it created a poll on its Web site asking students just that. The results are in. According to the poll, 54 percent of the students who voted did not agree with the smoking ban.
We are wondering what will become of this ban. The signs are not necessarily going to stop people from smoking and the ban zones are not in areas with a high concentration of smokers.
Besides, the ban is only a ban. It is not a law. Students who choose to violate the ban will not be punished, and the Washburn University Police Department cannot enforce it.
We know that many other universities are in cities that have implemented similar bans. However, Washburn has a small smoker population, so we do not really understand why it is an issue. Are people really constantly walking through huge clouds of smoke? Also, how long is it taking for people to go through the doors of a building?
We like that WSGA is listening to students. In fact, the Smoking Decision Committee was a great idea to address the smoking referendum that went untouched in a previous WSGA election. The editorial board even wants to encourage students to attend the townhall meeting Wednesday and voice their opinions on the ban.
We believe, however, that this ban will not yield the kind of information needed to make a plan that will be a compromise.