By LAUREN SCHRICKER
If you’re a smoker, imagine walking all the way down to McDonalds every time you wanted a smoke break. This is the reality for the members of the City University of New York student body, who must now make a 15-minute trek every time they want to take a smoke break.
The school’s 23 campuses recently joined the ranks of over 460 colleges in the nation in moving to ban smoking on school grounds. CUNY’s new regulations will go into effect next September and be fully realized by 2012. In the meantime, several designated sites away from buildings will serve as temporary smoking locations as the school phases smoking out entirely.
The smoking ban was passed in an effort to reduce secondhand smoke and to promote a healthier student body.
Despite Allegheny’s endorsement of health and wellness on campus, the administration has not made attempts to erase smoking entirely.
Around campus on the average day, you will find a few people smoking in a few favored nooks and crannies or near one of the many cigarette receptacles around campus.
“Personally, I have not had individuals come to me and say, ‘I can’t stand walking into (fill in the blank) building at Allegheny, because there is so much smoke outside,” said Sue Plunkett, director of the Winslow Health Center.
Smoking on campus may not seem major compared to other problems.
“Although the idea of totally banning smoking on campus is ideal, it opens up all sorts of questions such as ‘Who will enforce this?’ and ‘Does this violate someone’s rights?”
Because the incidence of smoking at Allegheny is not as widespread as at other colleges, students such as Kellee Cribby, ’14, are not concerned about bans like that of CUNY.
“I don’t smoke, so I don’t care. But I think it’d probably cause a lot of problems if we banned it on campus.” said Cribby.
Megan Hogand, ’14, believes that there are more important matters to focus on within a campus community than the incidence of smoking.
“If people can walk around here and draw on buildings I feel like people can walk around and smoke,” said Hogand. “It’s not like we sit inside and smoke and pollute the air inside the buildings. I feel like there are worse things that can be done than smoking.”
Still other students feel that they are entitled to smoke if they so wish. Rachel Wilcox, ’14, expressed concern that a smoking ban would infringe on her rights.
“I have to pay to go to school here. I have to pay to live here. I basically pay for everything that’s here, so to tell me that I can’t smoke outside in a place that’s supposed to belong to everyone is bullshit.”
According to the Compass Student Handbook, Allegheny’s current policy prohibits smoking in all college buildings and vehicles, as well as at formal outdoor assemblies, but allows smoking outside of these situations as long as it does not disturb others.
“[Allegheny’s] smoking policy simply reinforces a decision that someone has made to not smoke.” Plunkett said.