Opinion

Freedom of choice not considered

People should have the right to choose where they want to smoke.
The new smoking policy, which states smoking is confined to all parking areas, is interfering with that right.
One professor is saddened and upset with this new policy.
Dave Arevigian, MCCC Business adjunct faculty member, also known as Mr. A, is a non-smoker who grew up around smokers.
He believes freedom of choice was not considered at all when implementing the new policy.
“I apologize if I offend anyone who is reading this. This is just how I feel and my opinion; I’m speaking up for the smokers,” Arevigian said. 
“Just because other colleges are going smoke free, doesn’t mean we have to.”
“The smokers already have been told they can only smoke in a limited area and they are already outside,” he said “So how would it affect anyone?”
“There are people who can’t stand walking inside or outside a building because they are bombarded with smoke clouds,” he said.
“The school should go back to last year’s policy and no one should be able to smoke in front of the doors,” he said, “or have smoking confined to one area on campus, such as the courtyard.”
Arevigian said he is not trying to offend anyone, but is urging people to think logically.
Taking away students’ right to smoke is like taking away the right to freedom of choice, he said.
“It’s their right. They want to smoke, and then let them do it. This country fought for its rights and it’s a free country. That’s why smoking shouldn’t be totally eliminated next year.”
As of Aug. 1, 2010, smoking will be prohibited on all campus grounds.
“They really need to rethink the policy. It isn’t necessary and they are alienating almost half the population,” he said. “Those students may go elsewhere to attend college somewhere where they have the freedom to smoke.”
Some MCCC students agree with Arevigian.
“I say ‘let them smoke.’ Where does MCCC get the right to say that there not allowed to smoke anywhere on campus? I don’t care for smoke, but if they’re 20 feet away, what’s the harm?” said MCCC student Dain Taylor
“If smokers aren’t allowed to smoke outside the doors of campus out of annoyance, then I suggest we also get rid of the guys handing out New Testaments. You can only deny them so many times. If I took one every time I was offered you wouldn’t believe how many I would have.”
“If you polled and asked how many people were actually bothered by the smokers out by the parking lot, there’d probably be like three people. There’s probably a hundred people pissed about the change,” said MCCC student Tyler Beach.
The new policy is infringing the rights of students that smoke and almost ruling them out as a minority.
“Smoking policies are so worthless. It’s just another example of the minority ruling the majority in this country. It infringes on people’s rights and doesn’t really solve any health issues. I mean, we’re talking about outdoors? And I’m not even a smoker,” said MCCC student Casey Cheap.
MCCC student Shawna Hawkins is a smoker who has been affected by the new policy.
“I think it’s bull, even though I am quitting. The way I figure, as soon as you step out the door, there is enough oxygen for everyone!”
While it seems like most students disapprove of the policy, some students agree that the new policy was needed.
“I think it’s a great thing. I’m sick and tired of walking into a building and passing someone who’s smoking and have to inhale that nasty smoke when I pass by. Good riddance! The word of God will bring salvation unlike secondhand smoke, which will give you lung cancer,” said MCCC student Ryan Turner.
Randy Daniels, vice president of Student and Information Services, said he has talked to a few students who appreciate not having to walk through the smoke when entering buildings. Security still talks to a “walking smoker” now and again, but everyone has been very cooperative so far.
So whether you’re a smoker or a non-smoker, it doesn’t look like the policy will be changing anytime soon.

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