By Nicole DeCoursey
After a college based e-mail brief arrived in students’ inboxes, many have not stopped talking about the smoke free environment policy. The Associate Deans of Student Services from all three campuses sent the email on Sept. 1 informing students of the changes to the the policy, which was stated to take effect immediately.
The college e-mail stated smoking will be prohibited in college buildings and vehicles, along with extending the no-smoking area to within 50 ft. of any building. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas outside the buildings and the board of trustees has approved a $15 fine for violators of this policy. The College is in compliance with New York State Health Law Article 13E and Suffolk County Local Law 12, which regulate smoking in public places, including work sites. These fines are to be enforced strictly by Public Safety and violators may be subjected to judicial proceedings.
Some students have negative feelings toward the new smoking policy. Keri Bernstein, a psychology major, said she thought the policy “is ridiculous and they have no right to tell me if I can smoke here or for that matter anywhere on campus.” When asked if she would pay the fine and she giggled and stated, “Suffolk is just making more work for themselves.” A large percentage of students on the Ammerman campus smoke, and it will likely be difficult to discipline the large amount of students who are likely to break the rules.
As an educational institution, the college is in an excellent position to be a leader in promoting public health. A former SCCC student, Ashley Kammerer, feels that a stronger anti-smoking policy is good, “this is a great way to prevent second hand smoke to all those people protecting their health.” Kammerer was a pack-a-day smoker when she was a student at the College and now has been smoke-free for the past six months. According to her, “there is nothing worse than walking through a cloud of smoke before entering the building, especially if you recently quit.”