We seem to live in an age of increasing risk management and overly protective safety precautions and, as a result, many educational institutions are taking the necessary precautions to protect their students and staff.
UMBC has also jumped onto this wagon, but some of the regulations that are being made are simply excessive. Certain restrictions almost give off the vibe that UMBC is trying to tighten the leash on their students. University life is supposed to be the time for students to learn and explore freely.
However, there are definitely some bans that are beneficial for the overall safety of all individuals on the campus. The smoking ban prioritizes the health of students and staff. It respects the breathing space of individuals with respiratory diseases and others conscious about their health. Moreover, there are spots on campus where students can smoke if they wish to.
Another reasonable restriction is the management of guest access into student dorms. By having the residential assistants check-in all outsiders and keep a form of identification at the front desk helps reduce the amount of potential crimes. This type of a regulation is necessary, because it looks out for others and prevents regrettable situations.
The impending ban on vapes and electronic cigarettes is unnecessary. Vapes do not have the disadvantage of affecting second-hand smokers like cigarettes and other tobacco products. If it is not affecting other people’s health and safety, then there should be no reason to ban it.
A major complaint that students and staff have against e-cigarettes is that it is distracting in the classroom. If the “smoke” from the vapes is really that bothersome, then it should be common sense and common courtesy not to smoke it in a classroom or lecture-type setting. It is quite unnecessarily to implement a campus-wide ban over something that isn’t harmful to others.
Another ridiculous ban that has recently been implemented is the no-fly-zone of drones on campus. UMBC’s campus doesn’t seem to be in close enough proximity to BWI to make much of a difference. Moreover, the drones that are flown at UMBC are either made by engineering students or are the equivalents of toy helicopters, and some even have value as research tools. I highly doubt that they are such a threat to the safety and well-being of everyone on the campus.
If the ban directly aids the safety of the students and staff at UMBC, then it should definitely be implemented. Silly bans like the restrictions of drones, vapes and electronic cigarettes are just unnecessary.