Letter: The smoking ban should be enforced

To whom it may concern:

Is it just me, or is anyone else noticing that the smoking ban that was passed by the student government is going totally ignored? This is a huge aggravation for me and I’m sure many other students all over campus. Now, before I get started on my rant, let me say this: I spent my entire adult years serving my country both in the military and the Federal Government.

Oh, did I mention, I’m one of those “old” guys who’s on campus taking classes? I have fought for and defended the Constitution of this great nation along with protecting people’s civil liberties. So, no, I’m no prude.

However, I am 56 years old, and unfortunately I suffered a heart attack last April. So at this point, I’m just happy to be part of the team. With that said, I absolutely hate coming out of Langdale Hall, or for us old farts that have been here a while, GCB, and walk towards the library through the courtyard and get stage III cancer from secondhand smoke. Oh, wait, didn’t we just establish that there was a smoking ban on campus? Then why are there still so many people smoking?

Listen, it’s your body. It’s your life, but my life is in play here, too. If you want to smoke, fine. I’ve defended this great country for your right to do just that. However, have you ever thought about anyone else and their feelings or health habits when you light up in the courtyard? Hey, it’s not your fault, right?

The University doesn’t make provisions for you to have your very own smoking area, right? Well, to the Student Government that made this rule, I want to address you for a moment.

You decide to run for an elected position, pass a few rules along the way, make your resumes look good and pad your career with all the makings of a great politician along the way. So, what happened when you passed the “NO SMOKING” ban campus-wide? Did you make any provisions as to who would enforce it? I’m thinking not.

Do you expect our campus police to patrol the entire campus, just to go around and tell people to stop smoking? Hey, to you, the campus police might be a joke. But to me, I’m glad they are here doing their job in protecting you from purse snatchers, sexual offenders and any other type crime that you want to insert there. It’s not their job. So, whose job is it? Great question. I’m not totally sure either.

I do know that since the ban was put in place, the smoking has gotten worse. Especially on the very cold days when we had rain and snow and every single smoker wanted to huddle right up by the doors to stay dry while they got their nicotine fix on. Well, it’s brutal walking through that smoke trying to walk anywhere. Hey, I grew up in the 70s. This ain’t my first rodeo in college. Need I say more? I was once young, active, in fraternity and tested the waters just the same as you.

However, when there was a rule in place, we adhered to it.

All I’m saying here is, please, if you are going to smoke, please take it out of the doorways until an additional alternative can be reached. Student Council, I admonish you to discuss this at your next meeting and make it a priority. This ban you approved is a good thing. But not following through with it makes it a joke.

Please, from someone who is trying to take care of himself after a heart attack and several surgeries, please get this under control. Maybe all you need to do is get out there yourselves and pass the word. You are, in fact, the ones who instituted this rule. You are our rule makers. And to President Becker, I think you should be in on this, also. At least from the Executive/CEO position downward to offer some worthy suggestions. I know this will take away from the job you are doing to make Georgia State an awesome institution.

And, for the record, I think Dr. Becker is doing one heck of a job. I, for one, am proud to be a student here and feel proud of the education I’ve gotten while attending.   I’m sorry to go on such a rant but I feel sure that I’m speaking for the majority rather than the minority. To all my fellow students who smoke, I’m not at any way shape or form mad at you for smoking. I would like to have a little reciprocation for those of us who choose not to smoke (or not to smoke anymore).

Your Honor, The Defense Rests,

Rob Kiser

Senior Pre-Law Political Science Major / Public Policy Minor



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