Students’ smoke travels
Although Seton Hall University is not a smoke-free campus, some students have been reported violating the smoking and fire safety rules.
According to the University’s Fire Safety Booklet, smoking is not permitted in any housing facility or within 25 feet of a building entrance. Students who violate these rules must be documented and re- port to an administrator of Housing and Residence life where they are subject to fines and possibly probation.
Despite these restrictions and consequences, one student said she continues to smell smoke in restricted areas. She has complained about these violators because the smell of smoke travels into the dormitories.
“I know for a fact that in Aquinas you can always smell when someone is smoking if you have your window open,” sophomore Ema Caballero said. “It gets to be very bothersome, because cigarette smoke is not exactly what you want to smell in your dorm.”
“All of our policies are created in conjunction with the South Orange Fire Department, and it is through a close relationship with them we work to assure a safe living experience for our residential population,” said Xavier Hall’s residence coordinator, Rohan Thakkar. “This particular policy was created mainly for the safety and health of our students. As a courtesy to our students, we don’t want our residents to walk out of our building and be negatively impacted by secondhand smoke.”
One student who admitted to smoking in prohibited areas and wished to remain anonymous questioned the restrictions.
“I understand why we aren’t permitted to smoke anywhere near the buildings,” a sophomore said. “But sometimes it’s just an inconvenience not being able to smoke under Xavier when it’s pouring rain or when I just want to be able to sit down on the benches and relax.”
Thakkar said he believes the issue is decreasing.
“From what I’ve observed, the number of students violating the smoking rules has been decreasing which I believe speaks to the education that our staff has been doing,” Thakkar said. “During floor meetings and casual conversations, our staff has been very vigilant in assuring that they con- front any policy violations they encounter. Overall, it is our staff that makes the residential experience a safe one. If students have questions about these policies, we are always willing to speak with students and help educate them on why these policies exist.”
Erica Szczepaniak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.