The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-At least, clean up your mess

Illustration+by+Daniel+Worthington%2FThe+Collegian
Illustration by Daniel Worthington/The Collegian
Illustration by Daniel Worthington/The Collegian
Illustration by Daniel Worthington/The Collegian

During the summer, a tobacco ban was issued on all TCC campuses. This semester, campuses seem to have more cigarette butts in the grass than before, as if to say smokers are silently protesting the ban.

The ban was originally created as a health-conscious way to keep all the campuses clean and show that with the new Trinity River Campus opening, TCC would have a new, fresh start and a united front.

However, a jeer was sent into the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently stating that some people defy the district rule and litter the sidewalks of TR Campus while city workers clean up the ashes left behind.

Walking areas on parking lots and other campuses are covered in butts. It’s almost as though the tobacco ban doesn’t exist.

True, the school has done away with the ashtrays around the campuses, but this shouldn’t enable smokers to leave their butts in the dirt.

Though this is the first semester for the new rule, the lack of respect for the school’s property is showing. This disrespectful action by students, faculty and staff could become a fire hazard if butts aren’t disposed properly.

It doesn’t take too much effort. Mash the butt on the bottom of a shoe or into the concrete and then toss the end of the stress reliever into a trash bin.

Though TCC law enforcement is taking time to “educate” students on the ban, offenders need more than a literal pat on the wrist this far into the semester. Students don’t get a subtle “Don’t do that” when it comes to parking limitations. TCC’s smokers should get a stern ticket.

If enforcement of the ban were stronger, perhaps we wouldn’t see as many butts on the ground. Or if the ban weren’t there in the first place, students wouldn’t silently rebel and the campus lawns wouldn’t become ashtrays. Lifting the ban would also give TCC officers more time to handle more important matters than students and employees polluting the air with smoke.

Maybe the district should take another look at the tobacco ban on the campuses. The maintenance crew shouldn’t have to clean up after college smokers.

But in the meantime, TCC smokers, if defying the rule is the choice you make, then at least respect the facilities you pay for with your tuition and fees or where you work.

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