By Cody Prawicka
It is no shock that students smoke on campus, they are in fact allowed to, but how are non-smoker students affected? It clearly is stated in the college’s codes and rules students are allowed to smoke on campus as long as they are at least 50 feet, or more away from any of the buildings. However this code isn’t upheld, it’s being broken instead, since most students who smoke do it less than 15 feet away from the buildings. This causes second hand smoke to anyone going to class just by being near any of the buildings.
In a survey taken at the Ammerman campus, 100 non-smoker students were asked if the high amount of cigarette smoke on campus affected them. The results turned out to be staggering as 89% said the second hand smoke affected them in some way.
Student Amanda Goldberg had a lot to say about the smoking, “I’m not a fan of smoking but I do think that others can do whatever they want. But, I don’t think it’s right that non-smoking students like me have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get into a building. Plus, so many people have asthma that can be triggered by it. It should be common courtesy to be away from the buildings when smoking and the fact that people still do it even though it’s against the colleges code frustrates me.”
Probably the most populated smoking area is at the entrance of the Islip Arts Building. As many as 20 students will light up a cigarette right outside of the building, and stay there to smoke without moving away from other students that try to get into the building.
Another student at the Ammerman campus, Nicholas Kiernan; had something on his mind about smoking at the college, “To be honest I never had a problem with the smokers here until last semester. I remember it was pretty early in the morning and my class just let out. I was walking to my car and when I got there I saw on the hood of my car at least six cigarette butts and an empty carton for Newports. The cigarettes still must have been lit for a little because now my car has little burn marks on the hood.”
Obviously, this habit of smoking in unsanctioned places is a huge problem not only for the college’s administration, but more importantly the health and safety of the students.
One other student, Desiree Grange, who happens to be a freshman to the Ammerman campus had this to say,” When I started here I was really excited, but as soon as I stepped out of my car and walked to class the smoke from cigarettes was too much. One thing that really upset me was used cigarette butts get stuck to the bottom of my shoes, just makes you wonder why there aren’t designated smoking areas.”
If the Ammerman campus is this bad with smoking, you can only assume the Grant and Eastern campuses are just as bad, or even worse right? Well, you’re wrong; the Grant and Eastern campuses not only have fewer smokers, but they have areas for smokers which are away from any buildings.
It is written not only in the college’s code book, but also on the colleges website that the smoking policy “shall” be strictly enforced by campus security as well as staff; however nothing is being done to enforce this policy. Most likely due to the fact that some of the faculty doesn’t know you must be 50 feet away from any building, or they are in fact smokers themselves. The Ammerman campus doesn’t even have specific areas to have smokers smoke accordingly. This problem can affect everyone in the long run in terms of health problems, school violations, and even lawful violations.
It is obvious that there must be something done to resolve this issue to satisfy both the students who choose not to smoke, and others who do. Luckily, the honor student program is making designated smoking areas for the Ammerman campus to hopefully solve this major issue . Whatever is decided at the end of this problem one thing is for sure; the health of students as well as the staff is at risk with second hand smoke looming around.