City College Smoke Free?

Illustration of cigarette-butt-filled ashtray sitting on a no-smoking coaster. RICK NEASE / MCT CAMPUS

The Guardsman

Tim Johnson

Results of a voluntary and confidential survey addressing the issue of smoking on campus are being reviewed in order to gain an all-inclusive opinion on a stricter smoking policy.

The survey period ended on April 15.

The push for policy revision began last year, when the Associated Students council under then-president Elizabeth Weinberg made a resolution to promote a smoke-free campus.

“I kind of got the ball rolling,” Weinberg said, “and now today it’s still rolling.”

Associate Dean of Student Health Services Sunny Clark played a key role in the creation of the survey along with president of the Board of Trustees, John Rizzo and Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Peter Goldstein. All three were concerned with the abundance of smoking on campus.

According to research found on the website for BioMed Central, an online publisher of scientific articles, smoking has declined over the past 20 years, yet remains high among college students.

“City College is way behind in its smoking policy compared to other colleges,” said Clark.

University of California, San Francisco has been working to become a smoke free campus since 2008, with the initial removal of two designated smoking areas. UC President Mark Yudof has asked that all UC’s implement a 100 percent smoke-free policy by 2014.

Tattered evidence of the current policy at CCSF can be seen all over campus in the posters requesting that smokers stay at least 20 feet away from doors and windows.

Meanwhile a student walking between buildings is free to light up a cigarette anywhere en route.

A working group of 12 to 14 students, board members, and faculty convened by President Rizzo have been discussing how a more effective smoking policy could be created, if at all.

A survey, tailored and shortened to fit the City College campus environment, was sent to student emails as a confidential way to find out the opinions of those who would be most affected by a change in smoking policy.

Ben Ruppert participated in the survey, and on the subject of more enforcement against campus smoking told The Guardsman, “It would make me sad, because I’m a pretty heavy smoker.”

Non-smoking students also expressed an opposition to limiting freedom, although they acknowledged that they were bothered by smoking on campus.

“I don’t care if people smoke, but I don’t like the smell and would prefer if it weren’t right next to me,” said Jason Deutsch, a first semester student.

Nicole Zialicitia, a former smoker, said, “Removing smoking completely would be bad, but having designated areas would be good.”

Interviewed on campus, Carlo Bocchetti claimed he didn’t see much of a problem in the number of smokers on campus. “If it really is a problem they should probably put up more signs,” he said.

Many of the students interviewed by The Guardsman said they were unaware of the survey.

After the data is compiled, the working group will reunite to propose an appropriate course of action for City College of San Francisco.

Smokers and non-smokers take note, if you wish to have your say in a possible new regulation, the time to speak is now.


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