Proposed Smoking Ban

A mass e-mail, sent out by Parkside’s student President Dana Calamia, asks students to partake in a survey about just how they feel about smoking on campus. The issue, brought to senior Courtney Cornell’s attention, was addressed by Professor Moses Langley here at Parkside, who has been trying to implement something of this variety for around a year now. Langley, a non-smoker, has various reasons for his proposal. Not only does smoke make its way into his office when students smoke too close to the building through the air vents, which makes him uncomfortable, but he also does not like getting attacked by smoke when entering or exiting the building. “We should, at the very least, have designated areas. There are those who are very sensitive to smoke and don’t feel comfortable walking through clouds of it near the doors,” says Langley. “Parkside has the opportunity to lead the progressive movement.” Langley, along with other faculty and staff members promoting the ban, asked his students to partake in the poll that The Ranger News held on its website.

The poll held the final results of four votes for the ban from smokers, 98 votes for the ban from non-smokers, 21 votes against the ban from smokers, 43 votes against the ban from non-smokers, and two votes that held no opinion. Students had the option to leave comments along with their response and many of them expressed an interest in seeing research about secondhand smoke here on campus. Others stated that officials should work on enforcing the 25 foot rule first.

There are many ways the smoking ban could play out. It could involve a campus wide ban, where no smoking would be allowed on campus. Another option would be that smoking is only allowed in the parking lots. Or, there may be designated areas set aside specifically for smokers, which Cornell finds the most reasonable. The last option is that nothing changes.

“As a smoker, I’m fine with it. I don’t think it’s unreasonable,” Cornell says. “The reason I decided to do the survey was to get student’s input. The students ultimately decide what is going to happen.”

As of right now, 940 people have taken the survey sent out by Calamia. The breakdown is 580 student commuters, 144 staff members, 137 students living on campus, and 76 faculty members. 713 people who partook in the survey are non-smokers. The main consensus right now, with 42% of the votes, is to have smoking allowed in designated areas. This number is constantly changing as students take part in the poll.

If implemented, the changes will not begin until fall 2011. Newer signs would have to be made and the ashtrays would have to be moved to the designated areas. Some students are already voicing their opinion on the matter. Natalie Juarez, a junior, says, “I don’t think it’s fair, we’re already outside. I don’t smoke on campus, but for those who do, I think it’s ridiculous.” However, Jeff Gagliardi, also a junior, thinks, “From a non-smoker’s point of view, until they enforce the rules of compromise, it won’t be effective.”

The decision, however, lies in what information the survey shows by the end of its run. The survey will be up until January 31st, so any student that wants a voice in the decision should complete it before that date.

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