Smokers and non-smokers find balance and common concerns

On July 1, 2012, Wilson College joined over 700 colleges and universities nationwide in becoming a smoke-free campus. However, some smokers do not follow the rules and have been smoking on school grounds.

One of the reasons that smoking still occurs on campus is due to the lack of “no smoking” signs. Also, students do not necessarily understand what “smoke free” and sometimes interpret the policy differently.

A non-smoking student, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed her opinions on the smoke-free policy.

“I think there should be a balance. There should be a designated area where people want to smoke can. It will separate from people who don’t. It’s better to have a balance than such a strict rule.”

Anonymous smokers expressed the same suggestions as non-smokers. They also expressed concern about the dangers of smoking near the street, especially at night.

“I really feel like there should be designated areas on campus. It should be a combination for a smokers,” one student says.

“I smoke in the parking lot or in my car or what I do now is walk along the sidewalks outside of the campus,” another said. “I have to walk all the way around, instead of just going to my classes, so it takes longer, and it’s cold.” If smokers smoke outside campus, they might be not be as protected from outside hazards.

On November 6, WCGA held a meeting to discuss the smoke-free policy. About 20 people attended the meeting. WCGA briefly introduced the current policy and discussed where to place smoke-free signs on campus. They also discussed what penalties might be put in place to deter smoking on campus. Proposed solutions will be implemented at a later date.

Sonja Hess, vice president in WCGA said, “In 2012, the administration decided they wanted to join all the colleges going smoke-free. They set up a student survey, and the survey showed that students wanted to go smoke-free. They changed the policy in the Blue Book and announced it. However, they did not put any signs up and had no way to enforce it.”

So, WCGA decided to take care about Smoke Free Campus issues. WCGA expressed their opinions on providing a smoking zone. “We will discuss this with administration to try get a smoking zone on campus,” says WCGA.

This issue will take time to include everyone’s opinion. The smoking problems will continue to plague the campus until a larger interest is seen in controlling the issue within the community. Until then, it will persist.

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