Spark, Sizzle or Burn?
Joshua Schreiber
jschr063@uwsp.edu

Many of us have seen the anti-tobacco group known as Spark cam­paigning on the DUC concourse as the referendum on tobacco use on campus begins. But are these stu­dents truly working to better our campus or simply fueling personal agendas? As a former student gov­ernment senator I have had more than ample time to see the true colors of this group and have been shocked at what I see. Some of the many things Spark does not tell you in their almost religious pur­suit to input their own personal agenda into this tobacco ban are the major drawbacks that could cost us as a student body much more money than simply building smok­ing shelters or actually enforcing our current policy on smoking here on campus.

For one, to enforce a tobacco free campus the univer­sity would have to hire students to walk about and ask people to put out cigarettes whenever they saw smokers. This would cost us students a great deal of money as it would certainly be included in our segregated fees. Secondly any sidewalk touching a public road is property of the city and not of UWSP so someone wishing to enjoy a cigarette need only step out onto a sidewalk next to a public road for their activity to become completely beyond the university’s power to regulate. Lastly the Spark members do not want you to know that this system of tobacco bans with enforcement by paid students has been tried and failed at other UW schools including Stout, rather in their fervor to force through their own agenda they seek only to con­solidate into legislation their own personal prejudices.

Treating smokers as if they are seriously mentally ill due to their addiction is degrading and insulting to their intelligence as people. We are all students paying tuition here at this school and no one group should target another based solely on lifestyle choices and their own personal prejudices.

Joshua Schreiber