To the Editor,Our society has laws preventing the infringement on the rights of others. It is illegal to steal, it is illegal to physically assault, it is illegal to murder a fellow citizen. These laws are necessary to ensure societal order and to protect people from undue harm. However, while these laws seek to protect the population, a grave humanitarian crisis is gripping our nation and more specifically our fair campus.
It is understood that it is a choice and a right for people to smoke and this right must not be denied, however is it not a right to lead a smoke free lifestyle? It is assumed that the right to lead a smoke free lifestyle means that a person will not smoke and will not be exposed to smoke, yet is that the case. How many times on campus does the right of the smoker infringe on the right of the non-smoker? How many times must one seeking to lead a smoke free lifestyle have to sacrifice their right by walking through a cloud of smoke on the way to their class?
Secondhand smoke exposure on campus is overwhelming. Students seeking to lead a smoke free lifestyle are constantly being failed in having their rights protected by the university. Students must go to class and must walk through campus to go to the library or to Sykes. These walks always begin and end with exposure to secondhand smoke at the entrances of campus buildings. Secondhand smoke is considered a class A carcinogen on the level of asbestos. The university does not build with asbestos because of the harms it causes, so why does the university allow student exposure to secondhand smoke? I am seeking to protect the right of the non-smoker and to increase awareness about the harm smoking has on those who do not smoke. For all those interested in decreasing secondhand smoke on campus come to Sykes ballroom 117 on April 19 at 8pm and have your voice heard. We can get smoking moved from building entrances and we can reach a compromise with the smoking population on campus.
-William Grier, West Chester University Student
To the Editor,
Regarding “Proposed budget cuts may affect WCU students” in the April 11th edition of The Quad, I would like to provide several clarifications so that students and others have the most accurate and current information available.
The Governor’s proposed budget, if enacted, would have significant ramifications for West Chester University. However, several key legislators have stated publicly that the budget reductions will be nowhere near as severe as what the Governor proposed. Under no circumstance will the cost to students increase by the magnitude indicated in the article. In all likelihood, the tuition increase for the upcoming year will be fairly modest. Of course, the actual tuition rate will depend largely on the amount of state funding that is restored to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
I also want to point out that no academic programs have been targeted for reduction or elimination. Such steps would not be taken without first meeting the needs of students in those programs.
Students can play an important role in ensuring that the budget that ultimately is approved enables West Chester University to maintain academic excellence and access for Pennsylvanians. I encourage students to write to their legislators and tell the story of the value that West Chester University provides to the Commonwealth. Information on the budget and how to contact legislators can be found by clicking on the “Budget Update” box at the bottom of WCU’s homepage.
Working together we can ensure that West Chester University remains affordable without sacrificing its academic quality.
-Greg R. Weisenstein, Ed.D, West Chester University President