Changes in smoking rules, students divided
Restrictions: Smoking issue nearing possible resolution
Published: Friday, August 31, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 18:01
The Student Government Association late last semester put smoking regulations in place due to ongoing complaints from the student body.
“Students have suggested making this campus entirely smoke-free,” SGA President Hector Romo said. “We discussed this within the Senate, and taking a measure such as that would be a little too radical and [could infringe] on people’s rights.”
ASU’s previous smoking policy prohibited students or faculty from smoking within 50 feet of an entrance of any building.
“I had to find new places to smoke,” junior Chelsea Atkinson said. “We can’t just go outside anymore. We have to go out of the way, which is a little more inconvenient than it was before.”
SGA consulted with some faculty and staff to ensure that ashtrays and benches could be placed in available areas without bothering non-smokers.
“I think the smokers will appreciate knowing where it’s okay to smoke, and non-smokers will know what areas to avoid,” sophomore Carmela Booker said.
Although smokers may have grown accustomed to particular areas, ashtrays were moved in July to multiple locations on campus.
“Many people have asked for a map as to where [the ashtrays] are,” Romo said. “The reason why it is impractical to make a map is because there are a lot spread throughout campus. If you see an ashtray, go ahead and smoke there.”
Since the ashtrays were moved, SGA sent an e-mail to all students, faculty and staff informing them that designated smoking areas were created.
Even though there is widespread support for this measure, one said that changing the smoking regulations are more annoying than anything.
“It feels almost like they put [the designated smoking areas in places] purposefully to annoy students who otherwise didn’t mind smokers just to create a smoke-free campus,” sophomore Patrick Dealer said. “Next to the MCS building there is a smoke section right [beside] this big traffic area. So there all these people walking by these smokers, and it is kind of obnoxious.”
The operating policy has not been officially changed, but SGA is in the process of making it permanent. Currently, the staff Senate has approved the new policy.
Next, the faculty Senate will look over the smoking regulations, which will take place in late September.
“When this operating policy is enforced, we will then be able to go up and say, ‘Sir, would you only smoke where it is allowed’,” Romo said. “We have received really good compliments from students, faculty and staff about the new smoking rules. They seem to be working.”