The Regressive Leftist antics of colleges never cease to amaze me, and we have two today. (“Why do I post these?”, you ask. “To show you what students experience at institutions of higher education,” is my reponse.)
Today there are two follies, which I’ll recount briefly in two posts. The first, described by Michigan Capitol Confidential (MCC) and verified by the Lansing State Journal, describes a new no-tolerance smoking policy on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). Smoking is banned everywhere on campus, including outdoors, and “smoking” includes “vaping,” or using e-cigarettes. (I’m not quite sure if there are any dangers to others of using these, but of course they’re considered “gateway drugs”.)
Fine. Although smoking outdoors is unlikely to hurt anyone but the smoker, one can argue that it produces undesirable litter: cigarette butts. But(t) there’s one provision I consider ridiculous. As the MCC describes:
Beginning on Aug. 15, a new tobacco-free policy at Michigan State University will make drivers subject to a $150 fine for choosing to smoke or chew tobacco while traveling on public roads that cross the school’s East Lansing campus.
What? On public roads? And even if the roads weren’t public, what possible justification for this can there be? In fact, given that it’s legal to smoke in your vehicle on public roads elsewhere in Michigan, this “policy” is probably illegal.
To be sure, MSU adds that, well, they’re really not going to enforce it. To wit:
“There’s no directive to our police that this needs to be strictly enforced,” MSU spokesman Jason Cody said. “We are looking at it through an educational lens.”
Cody said he didn’t envision a police officer pulling over a motorist for smoking and giving a ticket. He did say he could see an officer on a bike telling a motorist who was smoking about the no-smoking ordinance.
The ordinance was passed by the board of trustees on June 17, 2015. Its effective date was set for more than a year later on Aug. 15, 2016.
“A new policy is an effective, cost-efficient way to protect the health of the campus community and encourage tobacco users to reduce or eliminate consumption, thus increasing life, longevity and vitality,” the MSU tobacco-free website states. “Most tobacco users want to quit, and tobacco-free environments encourage users to quit and help them maintain a tobacco and nicotine free status.”
Maybe they should stop people eating hamburgers or sugary sodas in their cars, too? After all, that policy would also “increase life, longevity, and vitality”. (It goes without saying that smoking in cars doesn’t endanger “the health of the campus community.”) In fact, why shouldn’t these Nanny Schools ban fatty food and non-diet sodas everywhere on campus, as they have smoking?
As for the “educational lens,” well, I doubt that there’s an American alive who isn’t already aware of the health dangers of smoking. Every pack of cigarettes has a warning label. The no-smoking-in-your-car policy isn’t going to spread that news any further.
h/t: Amy Alkon