“All about that gray area”

November 20th, 2014


Two weeks ago, John Carroll University students voted on a possible smoking ban on campus. Fifty-two percent of the student body voted against the ban, while 48 percent voted in favor of it. Although the majority voted in opposition of the ban, it is still a controversial issue to both students and staff.


When students voted on the smoking ban, they were presented with absolutes. They were given two options: for the ban or against it. These options lacked a proposition for a middle ground. With such a debatable issue, it is necessary to explore all options. Considering that the student voice was so split, the issue should be settled with a compromise. One example is to limit smoking areas on campus, rather than banning smoking entirely.


Restricting smoking areas on campus would strike a balance between different opinions. It would appease those in favor of the ban, because it would greatly eliminate the possibility of secondhand smoke, as well as reduce the amount of littered cigarettes. This compromise would also appease those against the ban by still giving them the freedom to smoke.


There is an entire spectrum of possibilities for the future of smoking on campus, because this isn’t simply a black and white issue. Possibilities range from a revote to unilateral action by the administration. While the proposed compromise appears to be the strongest solution, it is still important for both students and administration to remain open to every possible option and continue the conversation. The same concept should also be applied to future issues significantly impacting the John Carroll community.