This past Friday, May 16, SGSU sent out an email with the Election Results for the 2014-2015 school year, showing that the Tobacco Free Campus
Referendum passed with a supporting percentage of 59 percent. While we at The Spectator are unsure as to when this change will begin to take place, the Tobacco Free Campus Exploration Committee is set to meet and present the results of the vote with the President’s Cabinet on May 27, and further information will be available afterward. The fact that this referendum passed is, to me, utterly astonishing. I know a great deal of smokers on campus and have heard a lot of opposition to this referendum since it was initially proposed. Yet, based on the vote supporting this change from the lowly 27 percent of the Seattle U community who voted, smokers now have to go elsewhere. There are so many problems that stem from this referendum, both in its origin and now in its regulation. First, why do we feel the need to classify what other individuals can or cannot do to their personal health? I personally do not smoke, but do I feel the need to admonish those who choose to smoke? Hell nope! Second, why was this referendum established? I have never had problems with smokers on campus, who are courteous enough to smoke at designated smoking areas. Why do we feel the need to take away that option? And why are smokers being targeted, rather than those who use vaporizers inside Seattle U buildings, who have been a large problem for me and my friends (some of whom are smokers themselves)? Third, how exactly does Seattle U expect this referendum to work? We’re in the middle of a large city where smoking is common; I highly doubt that classifying ourselves as a Tobacco Free Campus will lead to anything other than controversy. While I and many others are upset with this result, the passing of this referendum only further shows us that we need to actually vote to get our voice heard. Otherwise, more controversial and unnecessary referendums will continue to be passed under our noses, and no one wants that.