As an educational institution, Williams ought to be concerned with more than just the studies of its students. However “flimsy” the claim that secondhand smoke causes cancer, no one seriously disputes that smoking causes extremely serious health consequences to the smoker, including lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease. The College’s decision to make smoking more difficult and quitting easier will discourage students from pursuing a practice that, according to the World Health Organization, kills half of the people who begin doing it regularly while of college age or younger. The new rule is a violation of personal liberties only insofar as requiring students to take four physical education classes is such; both policies stem from the realization that true education involves body as well as mind.
Steven Myers ’06, Hayley Wynn ’06