The view from here…

Here at The Skyline View there are a couple editorial topics we tend to shy away from simply because covering them again wouldn’t be unlike beating an already dead horse. Smoking is number one on this beaten dead horse list, and in the back of my head, I can still hear the voice of our current production manager singing a little ditty about how issues such as smoking and parking are dead.

While it may be true that smoking is discussed a lot in our paper, it is also one of the hottest controversial issues on this campus and most people seem to have a strong opinion on smoking one way or another.

Just this semester, The Skyline View has received two letters to the editor (one went unpublished because the writer was unwilling to give his/her name) in regard to how annoyed they were with cigarette smoke. In addition, I have also been approached more than once about smoking, when people learn that I write for the school newspaper. These people will say, “You know what really bugs me about this campus?” or “You know what a good issue to write about would be?” These are the students who are always talking about smoking.

When I first came to Skyline College two years ago, I was really surprised to see so many smokers. I disliked second-hand smoke so much that whenever I was asked what I thought of Skyline, I would always say that the school was pretty good …except for all of the smoking.

I was taking a news writing class at Skyline at the time and I always had these fantasies that I would one day write a beautifully crafted opinion piece for The Skyline View elaborating on how incredibly awful I thought smoking was. I would fantasize that people would read my opinion piece and then instantly become aware of how their nasty habit was killing them. Based solely on my eloquently written piece every smoker on this campus would suddenly see the error of their ways and decide to quit smoking.

I was a bit naive back then. While my opinion about smoking remains, I have since become more knowledgeable about the reasons people smoke and how people aren’t really smoking just to be “bad guys.” I even have some friends who smoke and I don’t hold it against them, it’s their personal choice.

Designated smoking areas were placed here on this campus since the beginning of this semester in hopes of keeping both the smokers and non-smokers at this school content. They allow the non-smokers to breathe smoke-free air without letting the smokers feel alienated. I personally feel I have been breathing in the same amount of second-hand smoke as before the areas were implemented, but that could be because there is a designated smoking area located just outside the news office.

The new designated smoking areas will be discussed at a forum at the school on March 15. I strongly encourage both smokers and non-smokers to attend with hopes that we will be able to work together to make everyone at this school satisfied.