Smoking should not be an issue

I'm Nick Brewer, an economics major here at MWSU and a non-smoker.  That being stated, a smoke free-campus robs students of possibly the most valuable lesson college has taught me; opportunity cost.  That life is full of choices and tradeoffs between goods and services.  These past four years have been a safe place to experiment with those choices and tradeoffs with less dire consequences than in the real world. The traditional student comes to college to live alone for the first time.  Finally, personal freedom triumphs over paternalism.  I, the scholar of MWSU, am finally able to make choices on my own (Freedom) as opposed to some authority making that decision for me. (Paternalism) I came to college to experience less paternalism and more personal freedom. Not to have mommy western slap a no-no stick out of my hand.  MWSU is not for children and it is not an equitable practice prohibit an activity that students are willing and able to participate in. I took part in that "Scholarly Research" Dr. Suzanne Kissock claims supports her smoke free campus.  The study that claims "student majority indorses it." (smoke-free campus) That survey/study, which I participated in, would be a shame to any statistician.  According to that survey, I support a smoke-free campus.  "Why" you ask? The free tee-shirt.  Not from my ardent opposition to smoking on campus. As for Dr. William Russell statement that a new tobacco policy "allows us to make it easier for people to engage in healthy behaviors,”  I say: "Say what you mean, and mean what you say."  You aren't suggesting we "make it easier for people to engage in healthy behaviors," as if we are being done a favor, students will be forced into a particular way of life that they may not have chosen themselves. Lastly, I am surprised this article didn't bring up the Murphy/Eder smokers.  This has been the only viable argument in this whole discussion because it brings up the negative externality presented when smoking close to buildings and brings John Stuart Mill's "harm principle" into the argument.  As my rebuttal to this point I make a very simple observation; if you don't want people smoking by the doors, don't put the cigarette dispensers by the doors. I agree with Dr. Daniel Trifan in that smoking areas are a "perfectly reasonable compromise." Cheers, Nick Brewer

My two cents on the smoking ban

Smoking areas would be a great compromise but it would have to be enforced better than it is around state buildings or non smoking campuses such as Heartland Health. MWSU is a huge property and it is not easy to go to the end of campus to smoke. I am a smoker and I follow the rules of no smoking in front of buildings except when I walk quickly by them because I have to get to my next class. I believe the smoking bans are a form of discrimination against us as contributing smoking Americans. One example for you is that if you stay in your car and smoke no one can do anything about it. I as a non driver will be at another disadvantage with this new policy being in affect. I think COVERED places (Which is a big reason that the breezeway between Eder and Murphy is often populated by people smoking) unlike the patio down from Eder and Murphy, should be made for smokers to exercise their freedoms on campus without harming non smoking students and faculty. Many businesses have gone non smoking and have driven smoking employees and customers to their car, in alleyways, or on other parking lots nearby. I was a non smoking adult for years and understand the points of non smokers, but I also believe in freedom of choice with legal products. Freedom of choice should lead more to a compromise between the two groups than sending the smokers underground like drug addicts. I would also like to know how many of the faculty members that received “free” smoking cessation programs have stayed smoke free. Heartland implemented a similar program but many of the employees have started smoking again and are forced to go off campus to smoke like criminals hiding a habit. I would also like to point out that the survey of people who supported a non smoking campus might have been swayed by the fact that people were compensated in some way and there was researcher bias from the beginning. In a perfect world cigarettes would never have been invented, but the fact is that it is a legal product. If people really want to make a change and protect everyone’s health, than we are persecuting the wrong people. Of all the answers to the smoking problem this is not the one that will benefit everyone. We are handing over another freedom by doing this and when will it stop?

Campus worker comments on flyers

Last week the Griffon News published an article about unapproved flyers that appeared overnight urging student workers to stand up for their rights. The flyers state that students are: harassed by their employer, not allowed to have input into the operation of the workplace and receive zero respect from their employers. As a student worker that has been employed through Missouri Western in various jobs  on campus for almost a year now I feel that we, as students, should consider ourselves lucky to have the jobs on campus that are offered to us. Yes, we make minimum wage and are only allowed to work twenty hours a week, but those rules are put into place for a reason. We are in school to get an education so that one day we can have a career in something that doesn’t pay minimum wage,  gives us benefits, as well as allows creative input. Depending on where you work on campus, whether it is in the department that you are majoring in or in the food court or cafeteria, things are not going to be perfect.  If you’re under the age of 26 you are now able to stay on your parents’ health insurance until you reach the new age limit thanks to Obamacare.  Never mind the fact that in the “real world” part time employers don’t get health benefits either.  So whining about something that is pretty much common sense and nothing that you can do anything about because you work part time through the school is a little useless. Thanks to the Work Study program and jobs on campus, students have the option to save gas and work on campus or to go out into the community in hopes of finding a job that probably isn’t as flexible as one on campus maybe. Plus, having a job on campus allows students to get their homework done and the chance to help other students while they are still getting paid. Sure, they aren’t the most glamorous jobs in the world, but when you get down to it, students that have been lucky enough to be employed through the university have it pretty easy and posting flyers in the cover of night that make you look ungrateful  for the job that you have only look bad on you. We are all adults now, grow up and talk to your employers and ask for the things you want and if you don’t get them  because of restrictions already set in place then try to accept that and move on.  Life isn’t fair and it hardly ever works in your favor because that’s just how it things go. Believe me, I speak from experience and I believe that honesty is the best policy in a lot of things.

Letter to the editor: SGA should take cuts as well

To whom it may concern: Recently, the student government of this campus passed a bill that will cost full time students an extra $150.00 per year to attend college. According to the SGA president, there was not enough time to have a student vote, so the SGA felt the need to promise our money. Bear in mind, this is in addition to the tuition, and both Federal and State taxes we pay to go to this university. So, this letter is a call to action. Because Jacob Scott and the SGA feel that there is a “clear need for additional revenue”, I want to see them put their money where their mouth is. The SGA needs to take a fifty percent budget cut. This would lower the SGA fee for a full time student from $50 to $25. Thus, there would be a net increase of $50 for a full time student, rather than $75. This cut would ease the pain of every single student when paying tuition. Keep in mind, there is not an office or program on campus that has not had a budget cut, or a spending freeze of some nature, yet the SGA continues to operate with the same money from their inflated fee. Any SGA office holder, or like minded individual, that feels the need to do the right thing can contact me at We can work together to make this happen; to help the school, and the students. Cass Holtz And Also Janell Stone Sterling Fichter Clay Rains Logan Burgess Jarred Edwards Sarah Roller Aaron Adrian Derek Hawkins

Letter to the editor: Sitting the Record Straight [sic]

I have often found the Griffon News informative and interesting. However, I am not impressed with the recent issue dated March 29, 2012. In fact, staff writer Natalie Spivey should learn to check her facts and verify her sources before you run to print anything she writes. The SGA did not; I repeat did not propose a tobacco free campus policy. The SGA received word that the administration had informed the Board of Governors that they should institute a tobacco free policy. The proposal Miss Spivey wrote about was simply the SGA’s attempt to give the students some kind of voice in the process. She is correct; it is not worth the paper it is written on. However, when members of the SGA learned that a policy would be implemented even though the student body has voted against it, we felt it best to do what we could to gain the students some kind of concessions. By proposing students, have the ability to smoke in their cars and for residents who do not have cars, the privilege to smoke in designated areas around the residence halls. Let us be clear here with all the legislation passed over the last 10 years, smoking in public is a privilege not a right, and as a smoker I understand this. MWSU campus belongs to those who founded it and turned it into a thriving educational institution, and therefore have the right to implement any policy they so choose on their property. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to attend this University and as Mr. Cross said, “Those who don’t like Western the way it is should go to some other school,” good luck on finding an affordable institution that is not a tobacco free campus. The administration is very good about allowing students to set policy and govern. Yet, in this fiscal drought, they have the ability to cut costs on health insurance, and that helps keep the programs that contribute to our success and the tuition at an affordable rate. At the same time how can anyone with an ounce of common sense, look around at all the cigarette butts littering the grounds at almost every entrance on campus, and believe we have the right to enjoy the privilege of doing so. Speaking of Mr. Cross, I have to believe the Griffon News to be truly desperate for writers to allow him a voice of any kind, and about all I can honestly say about his inappropriate language and repugnant terminology is, it is not worthy to use for wiping my, well you get the picture. Clifford Petersen