Brandishing signs and shouting about personal liberties, nearly 30 students gathered on Wall Street this afternoon to protest a proposed smoking ban on Yale’s campus. As they talked to passerby between Commons and Bass Library and passed out free tobacco products, the protesters collected 83 signatures on a petition against the ban.
Organized by the Yale Committee for Freedom, a student group, the demonstration contested the proposed ban on the grounds of personal freedom, group president Kara Brower ’13 said.
“The group that got together isn’t necessarily entirely smokers,” she said. “It’s a question of which liberties we can reasonably restrict and which liberties must be maintained in order to have a society which respects the individual.”
Brower said she believes smoking at Yale is not a problem and that “smoking isn’t something that would particularly bother other people, as long as people are reasonable.”
She added that the ban could disproportionately impact dining hall workers or staff, rather than students.
If the administration decides to seriously consider implementing a ban, the group plans to submit its petition to the relevant administrative body, Brower said.
The Yale Committee for Freedom is a group founded by libertarian students that holds a variety of protests in favor of individual freedom, Brower said. Coming up soon is the group’s annual protest advocating the legalization of marijuana, which will take place around Bulldog Days.