Pass/Fail: Safe Passage expansion, anti-smoking bill

By Kim Randall

Safe Passage looks to expand, increase community safety

Safety is a key concern when it comes to students, and expanding Safe Passage is a great way to address that concern.

Mary Ellen Schaid, executive director for Safe Passage, is looking to expand the organization’s fundraising efforts to make the DeKalb community safer. Safe Passage is an agency dedicated to reducing domestic violence and sexual assault in DeKalb.

Schaid is looking to partner with NIU Police, the city and other local agencies to get this expansion underway.

While NIU works to keep the campus safe for students, having additional means of supporting that goal definitely couldn’t hurt. Expansion of Safe Passage could add increased safety to off-campus areas.

Furthermore, campus police working with Safe Passage is a great way to prevent some of that crime altogether.

Planning for expansion comes at a perfect time with this month being Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Safe Passage’s potential collaboration with NIU to make DeKalb safer can comfort students when they leave campus. Hopefully, DeKalb will be safer with our community working together.

Smoking ban won’t prevent habit, stop littering problem

Smoking may soon become outlawed on campus, and I’m not a fan of that.

The Illinois Senate is awaiting a final vote in May for the Smoke-Free Campus Act, which would ban tobacco smoking completely on any state public college grounds. If this bill is passed and signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn, it would go into effect on July 1.

The bill could be passed in hopes of preventing students from smoking, as Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, who introduced the bill, said most smokers start in college.

I despise walking past clouds of smoke and cigarette butts lying around because some people are too lazy to throw them away, but the bill won’t prevent or stop students from smoking.

You can’t force someone to stop smoking. If a person wants to smoke, he or she will find a way to do it regardless of a ban and its consequences.

If the bill becomes law, I picture an increase of people listed in the police blotter due to smoking-related incidents.

Let’s just stick with the 15-feet rule and focus more on decreasing the amount of cigarette butts dropped about. It’ll be easier for everyone.