To ban smoking, by itself, would raise questions of indi- vidual rights, but the policy recently passed by the adminis- tration raises far more important questions about community and the role students and faculty play in it.
As we are all well aware, the ban is draconian and far reaching completely obliterating anything containing nico- tine from Pacific University property, without the promise of spaces for sanctioned use.
However, my central issue with the ban is not the broad overreach or violation of individual rights, but with the im- pact the enforcement plan will have on Pacific.
The ban according to a recent article from the Index does not place enforcement in the hands of CPS or school administrators, but rather asks students and faculty members to hand out warning cards to students and visitors smoking on campus.
In this way, Pacific University seeks to create an envi- ronment, in which students and faculty are responsible for policing other students.Yes, Hallick and associates will claim that the cards are just gentle reminders, not slaps on the wrist or punitive measures, but that ignores what the cards are actually saying, by which I don’t mean to refer to the text on
the card, but the symbolism of them.
The existence of the cards and the duty of students and
faculty to hand them out serves as the justification for punish- ment of smokers because now the university can claim they were given warnings and, thus, the cards seek to legitimize the unjust expansion of university power, by giving the uni- versity the excuse of fair warnings.
The usage of community members as a de facto police force also legitimizes the program in another way.
In delegating warnings to the community, the univer- sity seeks to make it seem like the community as a whole is involved in the process and wants the ban to occur. Thus, the punishment of smokers is no longer a unilateral action by the administration, but an extension of the community’s voice.
In simplest terms, the policy of having community members warn community members threatens to fracture the community, by creating division between community members receiving warning cards and community members giving warning cards.
If the university’s goal with the ban is truly to bring Pacific closer to its goals, then the ban’s provision and system of warnings must be reconsidered, as it goes against Pacific’s emphasis on community and friendship. I believed that the proposed system is against the Boxer Spirit and must be reconsidered.