SGA shouldn’t dictate where students can light up

Cigarettes can kill. Now smoke away.

The SGA House of Representatives defeated a resolution Tuesday that would propose a smoking ban from the Campus Commons and surrounding buildings. The resolution was defeated 22-16 in the House, with three members abstaining.

It’s no secret cigarettes cause lung cancer, ruin teeth and ultimately cause the premature death of thousands of Americans each year. But banning smoking outside dorms and in the Campus Commons would have been a tremendously unnecessary inconvenience for a fairly large number of smokers on campus.

Smoking is an activity many college students indulge in and enjoy, and it’s their right to do such a thing – not to be taken away by their peers. The freedom to smoke, just like the freedom to speak, organize and believe in whatever God one chooses, is a part of America’s basic freedoms. College students, and every American for that matter, should be able to do as they please within the boundaries of the law, and those freedoms should not be taken away, no matter how unhealthy it is. As long as smokers are aware smoking is unhealthy, which they should be if they haven’t been living under a rock for the past 50 years, then they should be able to light up outdoors anywhere on campus.

Bringing up a resolution like this wasn’t a bad idea, and it’s a testament to SGA that it properly debated the resolution and ultimately decided against it. That’s what government is supposed to do, after all – acknowledge concerns, debate them and then decide a proper course of action.

So, TCU smokers are free continue to chain smoke outside Milton Daniel, the library or wherever. Rest assured that student government is looking out for students’ freedom.

Managing editor Joe Zigtema for the editorial board