Keepin’ it Real: Bending the Rules

Posted on 26 February 2014 by admin

Writer Jake Hunn explores the enforcement of the STLCC smoking ban

Jake Hunn

Jake Hunn

Opinions Editor

It is nearly impossible to take a walk on campus at Meramec without passing a sign clearly stating the college’s rules concerning tobacco. Meramec’s smoking policy is plain and simple: “No consumption of tobacco or tobacco products is allowed on any college property or in any college facility.” Despite STLCC’s Tobacco Free Policy, a student or faculty member enjoying a smoke break on campus is not an uncommon sight. This poses the question of whether or not the rule is obsolete or violators simply need to abide by the rules.

What is most intriguing is that both students and staff alike have been known to violate the ban on tobacco consumption on college property. It seems that even campus police officials tend to turn their heads as campus policy is disregarded. When the parties held responsible for enforcing a policy are either participating in or allowing the violation of said policy, a red flag should appear to policymakers that the rule is no longer relevant to the majority students, staff and faculty.

This is not to suggest that the use of tobacco become legal anywhere on campus. Many public establishments (Starbucks, for example) have policies that tobacco must be used at a designated distance from the door, allowing non-smokers to enter and exit without the worry of taking in secondhand smoke. Meramec (and all of STLCC for that matter) could benefit from a policy of that nature as students from many different backgrounds with diverse lifestyles.



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