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HomeArchivesLighting up on campus is sparking a debate about where to smoke

Lighting up on campus is sparking a debate about where to smoke

Cedar N Goslin

The Broadside

According to Central Oregon Community College’s rights and responsibilities section of the student handbook, smoking is to be limited to COCC parking lots only, except during high fire season when it is banned completely.  Though whether the rule is fair, or even enforced is an issue that some COCC students are uncertain of.

Though smoking on campus, except in parking lots, is against COCC policy, some students say that they see others smoking near buildings anyway, particularly in front of Barber library.  Four out if 10 random students said that they think the no smoking policy is good and needs to be better enforced, three said that they had no opinion, and three said that students should be allowed to smoke wherever they wanted.  One COCC student, Kegin Grey, said that she actually sees fewer students smoking than she thought she would, and that smoking on campus is not really an issue.
“As long as it’s not too close to doors, like in smoking areas, I really don’t mind,” said Grey.

But as the random survey shows, not all students agree that smoking on COCC campus is a non-issue.  COCC student, Adam Hagenbach, said that he often sees students smoking near doors before class, and is forced to walk through clouds of smoke to get to his own classes.

“I hate it when I see people smoking on campus,” said Hagenbach.

Joe Reynolds, a COCC student who smokes, said he was understanding of the sentiments of non-
smokers.
“I think that non-smokers have the right to clean air space where they spend most of their day,” said Reynolds, then added, “But as a smoker, I feel that designated smoking areas are too far away from classes and exposed to the elements.”

Reynolds went on to say that if there were protected smoking areas closer to the buildings, students would be less inclined to break the rules.

However, according to Jim Bennett, a member of COCC’s campus security, there isn’t much of an issue at all.  According to Bennett, the smoking policy at COCC authorizes campus security to confront those in violation, and, though there is no monetary fine involved, it can result in a conduct hearing with student life–but such incidents are rare.
“I would say it’s relatively infrequent.  Most people that we contact are very willing to comply and will move to the designated area,” said Bennett.  While opinions on the issue vary, COCC’s smoking policy will continue to be enforced.

You may contact Cedar Goslin at cgoslin@cocc.edu

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