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Letter: Smoke-free campus plan a waste of money

I would like to say I believe ASUO President Amelie Rousseau’s push for a smoke-free campus is a way to gain personal political clout and put her on a political map somewhere as she gets closer to graduating and the ¨real world.¨ I believe her efforts are more directed toward making at least one big change before her term in office is over, and there is a trend among politicians trying to gain popularity and political power by passing smoking bans in cities, restaurants, cafes — you name it. The Smoke-Free Campaign is in fashion. I think it would be a waste of the funding to start a two-year campaign that would require a “culture shift.” Rousseau and University President Richard Lariviere have both mentioned this ¨culture shift”. Rousseau adds that even if the policy were implemented, “No policy includes 100 percent compliance,” once again furthering my claim that the campaign is more about political glory than it is about making a difference for the University campus. Of the $800,000 PacificSource Health Plans gave to the Executive as a grant, I hope not a penny goes to support or fund a campaign for a culture shift at the University. Neither our University president nor our ASUO president should be using language the way Rousseau already has in her statement that ¨a smoke-free campus would be enforced through a campus culture shift.¨

Rousseau should encourage fostering University culture, and not enforce it. One small way would be to use just $1,000 or less of the grant from PacificSource Health Plans to install informative signs about our important trees here on campus. The University is a National Arboretum and deserves recognition. Furthermore, many students chose to come here because of our campus beauty and the landscape, and this sort of measure would encourage students to spend more time on the campus grounds and foster learning as well as culture building. Our trees tell stories that are over 100 years old. Rousseau´s Smoke-Free Campaign pushes a large population of students off campus and away from the community they came here to be a part of.

Lastly, I would like to ask Rousseau if she has ever smoked on campus.

These quotations are taken from the Daily Emerald vol. 112, issue 34, Thursday Oct. 21, 2010, front-page article titled “Rousseau´s smoke-free campus plan moves ahead.”

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