Campus smoking bans across New Jersey could affect school policy

After several New Jersey campuses banned smoking, the Student Government Association is looking to change the smoking policy at Seton Hall.

SGA President Derel Stroud is looking to propose a new smoking initiative at Seton Hall that will strictly enforce current policies rather than ban smoking altogether.

Stroud’s plan aims to strongly enforce the 25 foot limit in place for smoking near residence halls and other campus buildings.

As part of the initiative, Stroud wants to make designated smoking areas.

“Before students get upset or angry, it is important that they are aware of the health risks that are involved with second hand smoke,” Stroud said.

Both smoking and non-smoking students approved of stricter enforcement on the current smoking policies.

Junior smoker Andy Caulfield was not upset with the initiative, unless the smoking areas were inconvenient. “Don’t make me go all over the place for it,” Caulfield said.

Freshman Jordan Lungo felt smoking further away from entrances, would be a smart idea.

“I think [smoking] further away from the buildings is good because a lot of people don’t want it [smoke] in their face or like the smell,” Lungo said.

Senior Mary Layug said she thinks that it is a fair idea for everyone who does not smoke.

While the University currently implements a 25 foot limit, sophomore Melissa Cotreau said that not many students listen.

“I think they would if there weren’t smoke pots in front of the buildings,” Cotreau said. “At Boland Hall there was one right by the door and everyone always got in trouble for standing there.”

Cotreau said she thinks enforcing the policy would work only if they moved the disposals.

“If you want it [smoking] farther away from the building, move the disposals,” Cotreau said.

Stroud has been in contact with the Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy (GASP) while working on his initiative.

According to the NJGASP website, concentrations of secondhand smoke outdoors can be equal as levels recorded indoors.

Since Stroud’s smoking initiative is still in the works, it is unclear whether the University will enforce it.

Karen Van Norman, dean of students, said the University’s decision to enforce the initiative depends on the proposal.

Laura Wankel, vice president of student affairs said that if SGA was to propose an effort regarding smoking policies, then the campus would look into it further.

Currently six community colleges in New Jersey have completely banned smoking on campus.

Cotreau said banning smoking at Seton Hall would cause uproar.

“So many people on this campus smoke, including faculty,” Cotreau said.

Stroud said that a completely smoke free campus is not what he is wants.

“If smoking is banned completely, students would then be forced to go off campus to smoke,” he said. “In my opinion, this would put students in harm’s way.”

Nicole Bitette can be reached at nicole.bitette@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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