At the last Academic Senate meeting of the semester, a member of the senate urges to take action on the current
This is after an article was published in the Roundup newspaper.
Richard Follett, an English professor and member of the academic senate, presented his concerns after reading the article and his experience with students smoking near his class rooms.
“Several of us, since last discussion (smoke policy), has been told off royally by students who are very angry and they have said, ‘it is not your business. I can smoke wherever I want’ while they’re blowing smoke into our faces” said Follett.
“Empty Laws” is an editorial published on May 6 by the school newspaper. It’s an article that urges Pierce College’s authorities to enforce the “Smoking” and the “Non-smoking” area laws.
According to Follett this isn’t the first time this issue has come up at the senate meeting. Nancy Pearlman, a trustee of the Los Angeles Community District (LACCD) has suggested previously to turn campuses “Smoke Free” throughout the district, said Follett.
Pearlman was not available for comment.
Some students, who are smokers apparently don’t have any problem with the current policy, but at the same time a “Smoke Free” policy would present some issues for them.
“I don’t have any problem with it (current policy), as long as they have a designated area to do it (smoke),” said Aaron Knied, an Anthropology major.
In a reaction to asking Knied his thoughts on a smoke free campus he had this to say;
“I’d rather take a ticket than stop smoking; it’s an addiction or habit for me. It’s my choice to smoke cigarettes; no one should tell me what I can or can’t do. It’s not like cigarettes are illegal.”
Even students, who are non-smokers, find it a non issue. “I really don’t mind it (cigarette smoke) at this point. I always find my way to avoid it,” said Sandip Pitel, a Computer Science major.
Others find it a way of life on campus “I think a lot of people do it (smoke) on campus,” said Tunde Alele, a Political Science major, “It’s hard to escape from it (cigarette smoke). I personally don’t like it. If anything, it’s part of life not much you can do about it.”
Pierce authorities find themselves in the same predicament “Not much you can do about it.” Some find it difficult to enforce the smoking policy, because of current construction projects.
“The smoking policy has been recently lax due to the major renovation on campus,” said Pierce President Robert Garber, in an interview with a reporter from the Roundup.
Others see it as a lack of communication from school authorities.
“We are waiting to hear from the Administration office on what to do on this matter” said Al Guerrero, a Sheriff’s deputy. “We’re supposed to hand a pamphlet out to people who are smoking but we don’t enforce it because usually we are patrolling the parameters of the school and when we ask someone to move to a designated area they cooperate.”
According to Guerrero, handing out citations is a non productive effort by campus police a
nd cooperation from other students is needed.
“We get calls from people reporting those who are smoking on a non assigned area, but when we get there they are gone or the person who placed the call doesn’t want to write a report. Therefore there is nothing we can do,” he said.
The motion for the senate is to revise the current smoking policy next fall. The senate has two options. The first is to allow students to smoke in designated areas throughout the campus and enforce the policy. Second is to turn the Pierce campus into a smoke free environment.
“I am in favor of being totally a non-smoking campus,” said Diane Levine, an instructor of Anthropological and Geographical Sciences. “I think it’s too confusing for the smokers and they need a clear direction. They need clear instructions ‘No Smoking on Campus’.”
According to the other eight community college’s policy in the LACCD, none are a smoke free campus. In the Los Angeles county area however, Santa Monica City College is the only smoke free campus.
In March, Pasadena City College’s Associated Students (AS) passed a resolution to approve a smoke free policy, which was requested by the Colleges Coordinating Council.
Presently the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF) has reported that there are only 14 campuses in the state of California that have a smoke free indoors and outdoors policy.
There are nine designated smoking areas on Pierce campus. To find out the locations, students can pick up a pamphlet at the campus police.
“We are not telling them not to smoke at all. We’re telling them to go to the assigned smoking areas and do it there,” said Follett.
An Editorial From the Roundup News Prompts Pierce Authorities to Revise Smoking Policy.
Academic Senate will Revise Smoke Policy Next Fall.
Pierce Smoking Policy Will Be Revised Next Fall.