English debate - les cigarettes dans les universités
Dans le cadre de mes études, j'ai accès à un cours d'anglais axé sur les débats et l'expression orale. Ils se sont déroulés 3 débats durant ce semestre. Tout le monde à dû se préparer sur un sujet précis. Le premier débat opposant deux groupes de camarades portait sur les cigarettes et l'autorisation de celles-ci sur le campus de l'université. Nous devions y assister, prendre des notes et rendre un résumé au prof (nous avons eu la note de 12 pour nos résumés... le prof est assez sévère, mais il se peut qu'il y ait donc des fautes), je vous laisse donc avec le résumé de ce débat en anglais ! Je précise que le groupe FOR soutient une règle INTERDISANT la cigarette sur le campus, ce n'est pas un groupe qui soutient la cigarette.
I/ The social influence
a) the health
The first group's (FOR) arguments were :
• Smoking is dangerous for the health. There is the phenomenon of the second hand smoker wich is related to the smoke inhaled by passengers next to smokers. Smoke affects the cardiovascular system and our lungs are disturbed by the smoke. Thanks to this rule, it is going to be benefic for the student's health and discourage them to smoke (because the area is 20 feets away).
Here, the group insisted on the fact that smoking is dangerous and unhealthy.
The second group's (AGAINST) arguments and response were :
• If you argue in this way so you don't accept their choice. They are adults and we shouldn't consider them as children. University is not like highschool or middle school, it is not responsible of their choices, the risks that they take. Also, they smoke during breaks, this period is synonymic of relexation. And remember : smoking is not a criminal act.
• Smoking is an habits (it takes part of the french culture for example), the law is a concept that will change their habits, so it is going to be difficult to set it up. Also, we don't forbid others things that are worse.
The second group response was pretty good because we touch a sensible subject : the health. For us, the girls have been able to explain that health is personal and that we always have the choice.
b) the smokers area
Then, the groups debated a lot about the area. Where it should be ? How does it would work ? Etc... The first group (FOR) agreed with the rule wich proposed a perimeter outside the campus for the smokers. The second group (AGAINST) proposed that it should be better if they had a dedicated place, on the campus, to smoke. Most of the time, it was the second group which spoke about this question :
• There is not a dedicated place but just a rule (perimeter). If they had a real place to smoke it would be great and easier for non smokers because they decide to don't go there.This is the choice of non-smokers to go there and breath the smoke (their problem).
• Also, even if we don't smoke, we probably have friends who smoke. If the area is far away of the campus, the groups will be seperated. A real smoking area into the campus is necesary to keep social links. It should be a place of discussion, not an exile.
Also, (quelqu'un) asked them how this area would be controled. The group responsed that there could be some cameras or supervisors in the area.
c) the freedom
While debating about the student's health condition, the second group introduced the notion of freedom in its arguments.
The second group's arguments :
• University is supposed to be an openminded space, without inequalities. We can't tell people what to do or not, especifically about their smoking choices.
• University is a place of freedom and tolerance.
• If you think that we can't force non-smokers to inalate the smog so non smokers should stay in their homes because their smokers everywhere.
d) the addiction
When the first group said that the students could smoke after school, the second group presented comprehensive arguments :
• We understand that it can be a need for them to smoke, we have to understand them.
We could do some sensibilization to prevent people from beginning to smoke.
The first group's arguments in response of this :
• Yes, but its not really working. Even if we put photos on cigarette packs of diseases, the smokers don't stop it.
Our teacher said, for example, that he hid these photos with paper all around the pack and the students in the classroom said that it didn't stopped them to smoke.
e) what about the teachers
A person in the classroom asked the two groups if the rule should concerne the teachers or not.
The first group's (FOR) answer :
• It is the same rule for the students AND the teachers so there is not discrimination. It is more equal.
The second group's (AGAINST) answer :
• We can't forbid the students and the teachers to smoke. It is a difficult addiction.
II/ The environmental influence
The students talked also a lot about the environment. The subject have been introduced by the first group:
• Smoke pollutes the environment.
• This rule is important for the environment : Smokers throw on the ground cig buts and the planete is more and more polluted. It has an impact on the environment : The pollution causes a global warming , so it affects animal spaces, animals are endangered... This is what happen if we do not carry.
• Stopping cig buts on the grown can make a difference. This rule ecourages people to respect the environment and permite a better lifestyle.
The second group's (AGAINST) response :
• Paying fine would be a better alternative because people will repsect the rules. It is fairer than forbiding cigarettes. They polute but instead of stopping the smoke we establish a punishmen.
• It is the same environmental impact outside or inside the campus.
Finally, the two groups ended the debate. We think that this subject was more difficult to deal with because the mayority of the members of the two groups don't smoke. They couldn't, maybe, realize what smoking could represent for smokers so they had to see it from their perspective.
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