To the Daily:

Simone Taylor’s letter to the editor on Tuesday (The smoking ban initiative includes student body’s’ imput, 4/13/2010) was laughable in its claims and illustrated perfectly how the University sees its student body: as sheep to be controlled at will.

Taylor claims that the campus-wide smoking ban is being implemented with student input. She claims that the Student Life Subcommittee has had valuable input from over 1,500 students regarding the implementation of the ban.

But all “input” has been regarding the implementation, rather than whether or not the University should have the ban in the first place. Taylor’s idea of student input is allowing students to say how best they can be robbed of their personal freedoms and health decisions, rather than being allowed to object to the University’s intrusions and violations of our liberties in the first place. The very wording, “this group is now in the process of formulating its recommendations for policy implementation,” shows the entire discussion is about how to implement, not whether or not to implement.

And if Taylor cared so much about allowing open and reasonable input from students, then why hasn’t the University made public all the responses to the student survey that was sent out regarding the smoking ban? Perhaps it’s because the vast majority of students voiced their opposition to the ban despite the survey’s language of inevitability and leading language.

Finally, why, if input and openness is so valued, are all the subcommittee hearings completely closed off to the public?

Taylor cites “an implementation plan reflecting some of the best work of student, faculty and staff from across the entire University.” But this was a small, cherry-picked group united in a common cause of oppressing a minority of adult students who are engaging in a legal activity. If Taylor cared so much about student input, she should have paid more attention to the 1,400 signatures that have been gathered so far by the Burn the Ban Campaign opposing the ban.

Sam van Kleef
Business sophomore

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