Smoking ban meets economic crisis

I was walking into Walter Library and was mildly troubled when I saw someone lighting up a cigarette on the steps in front of the building. My issue was not that they were smoking on the campus, or that they were illegally lighting up just feet from where I stood. Instead, I found myself thinking that in the light of budget cuts of over $150 million, did we really need to waste resources debating a smoking ban? Now, in this financial debacle, we need to examine this ridiculous government pork. By simply enforcing the old smoking ban, countless dollars could have no doubt been saved. When my tuition bill goes up 7 percent next year and probably more the year after, I will only shudder to think of the other less transparent areas that the University of Minnesota has squandered my money. IâÄôm glad that the University is finally tightening its belt, but I only wish that it could have done so years ago when talking about raising tuition instead of now when state money isnâÄôt flowing as freely as before. While tuition will surely not go down now, it would be great if years from now when the economic tide (hopefully) turns back toward prosperity, the University helps that generation of students by continuing to trim pork spending and lowering tuition. Brian Rappl University student