ResEd Debates Smoking
“Smoking is ONLY allowed at least 30 feet away from entrances and exits of all College-owned facilities,” reads the Student Regulations, Policies and Procedures Handbook. “There is NO smoking in ANY College building. This includes all College housing, unless an exemption is granted. Each community member is responsible for understanding the smoking policy and is encouraged to educate his/her peers.”
The Housing and Dining Committee, made up of both students and faculty, met on Nov. 15 to vote on a number of issues. The vote most pertinent to daily student life was about the smoking policy.
The phrase “unless an exemption is granted” was being debated. The committee voted unanimously to remove this language from the rule.
The reasons for this discussion boil down to the dozen or so students who live on the seventh floor of Firelands — currently a designated smoking floor — and the students who live in Union Street village housing.
In 1993, the General Faculty Committee adopted the current policy of smoking only 30 feet from doors. There was a provision, however, for designated smoking lounges, the “granted exemptions.” The last smoking lounge, located in Keep Co-op, was shut down last year.
A document was circulated amongst members of the committee explaining to reasons for striking this phrase from the rulebook.
One was the lack of health and safety standards in these living areas.
“Right now, we’re not in compliance with national suggestions of the American College Health Association and the American Cancer Society,” said a student who chose not to identify herself.
Another reason was the hypocrisy inherent in such wording.
“It is incongruous to allow cigarettes but not other fire hazards such as candles,” she said
Student opinion on this issue runs the gamut.
“I would like there to be a smoking dorm,” said Bernard Bergman, a College senior not on the committee.
Ezra Temko, College junior and member of the committee, took umbrage with this sentiment.
“I wouldn’t agree with a smoking dorm,” he said. “There would be no pressure to quit.”
A suggestion was made that the language “30 feet from an entrance or exit” also be re-examined, taking each building on a case-by-case basis.
Also discussed at the meeting was how to channel funds from this fall’s campus-wide fast toward Katrina relief. In an unprecedented move, the President’s office agreed to match funds raised up to $1500. At issue was whether or not to divert funds from the spring fast to the fall’s total.
The issue was not voted on, pending more discussion between the
President’s office and the group organizing the fast. The Housing and
Dining committee has already succeeded in raising the cap of money CDS donates