| 03.20.2018

Letters to the editor


UI needs to go tobacco free

In April 2014, the Faculty Senate recommended adopting a tobacco-free campus. In November, ASUI passed a resolution recommending a smoke-free campus. Either policy would help protect the health of our students, but would not do so equally.

In comparing the two options, it is important to consider data trends. While the number of students who smoke cigarettes has declined, the number of students who use chewing tobacco has increased. According to the National College Health Assessment, the number of University of Idaho students who reported past 30 day chewing tobacco use increased from 4.2 percent in 2011 to 7.8 percent in 2013.

If we move to a smoke-free campus, I am concerned the number of students who use chewing tobacco will continue to rise as some students switch from cigarettes to chewing tobacco. I believe moving to a tobacco-free campus is the most effective strategy to reduce the number of students who use tobacco and is in the best interest of current and future students.

One of the concerns I have heard is how such a policy would be enforced. Enforcement does not play a prominent role. It is geared toward education and support.

There would be sufficient publicity and signage so people would know we have a tobacco-free campus. There would be a norm that people don’t openly smoke or chew.  Other campuses that implemented tobacco-free policies report few problems and indicate the policy tends to be self-enforcing. Violations are often addressed through warnings and referrals to cessation resources.  Over time, a tobacco-free campus would become the norm without the need for enforcement.  Unlike other programs that require ongoing time and resources, this policy would have some initial costs, but would continue to pay dividends for generations.

Brian Dulin
University of Idaho
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Prevention Program Coordinator

In response to Andrew Jenson’s Dec. 8 article, “Woman up.”

This article might be nice if Andrew Jenson’s opinion wasn’t based on fantasy.
As reported in many news articles, UPS makes accommodations for those who are temporarily physically disabled (not related to pregnancy) and unable to lift a certain weight.

So the idea that Peggy Young was somehow asking for “special treatment” is ridiculous. She, like other workers who’ve been in similar situations, was asking for temporary accommodations, which UPS provides for others.

Jenson said it himself: “It would be unlawful, discriminatory and sexist for the company to treat a pregnant woman differently than they would other employees in similar circumstances.” And that’s the point. They did treat her differently than other employees in similar circumstances.
Jenson writes: “Men and women are biologically different, but if women are part of the workforce, they must be held to the same standards as men.”
So he is arguing because women are the only part of the species biologically capable of carrying children, they deserve to be fired from their jobs, placed on unpaid leave and suffer economic and social disadvantages? That again, is ridiculous. Women don’t want to be “treated like men,” they want to be treated as equals. This means being allowed the opportunity to be equal, which sometimes might mean giving a pregnant woman temporarily light work.

And finally, Jenson writes, “(Young) put herself in the position where she had to choose between work and family.” This is the crux of the argument. Women are often forced to choose between work and family, whereas men are rarely put in the same position.

With the exception of a trans individual, a man working for UPS would never be put on unpaid leave because of medical requirements related to pregnancy. But a woman has to worry about essentially being fired from her job because she is pregnant.

So when we talk about equality, this is what we are talking about. We’re talking about women being forced into economic and social disadvantages by virtue of being women.

Kaitlin Moroney
2014 UI alumna

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