Smokers beware; measures to begin enforcing the no smoking policy at Pierce College that took effect on Feb. 1 of this year are now underway according to Ron Nohles team leader of the campus sheriffs.
Until recently smokers have been treating this policy as somewhat of a joke. Walking across campus you can find numerous students smoking as they travel to their next class.
The Work Environment Committee (WEC) has told the sheriffs’ department that this needs to stop. Piece College is the first college in the district to adopt a no smoking policy and the WEC plans to be successful.
The Pierce College WEC deals with work safety, smoking and noise pollution, as well as campus parking matters. Meetings are hosted on the third Tuesday of every month between 1p.m. and 2p.m. in the Academic Affairs Conference room.
“Until now we’ve been trying to just give out warnings,” said Nohles “This is the end of an acclimation period to give students a chance to become aware of the policy.”
Actual fines cannot be issued since this isn’t a law but a campus policy. However the sheriffs can issue citations that will go to a campus sensitivity report that will be placed in the student’s file according to Nohles.
“We can only issue fines if the offender is breaking an existing law,” said Nohles. “If the offender is smoking within 20-feet of a window or door or inside a building a ticket will then be given out.”
While many students are happy about the new policy others say they haven’t noticed a difference.
“I never really cared about the smokers,” said Janet Parnell a 20-year-old computer science major. “I just don’t hang around where they are smoking”
Most students who smoke seem to just be ignoring the policy. But some students are upset that they could be cited.
“How am I supposed to smoke on a ten minute break when I have to go all the way to the parking lot?” asked Jack Tomas a 22-year-old music major. “By the time I walk to the parking lot and light a cigarette my break would already be over.”
We want people to start observing the policy,” said Don Sparks professor of physics and astronomy “Don’t smoke where you’re going to cause others to endure you’re secondhand smoke.”
Smoking is permitted in the parking lots according to the head of the WEC Melody Cooper committee chair who is leading the charge to begin enforcing the policy.
“The WEC has been working to create a smoke free campus for eight to nine years,” said Cooper. “This is just the next step.”
The WEC’s slogan “Smoking Stops at the Curb” is a phrase that will soon be known to most students as it will soon begin to appear on no smoking boards around campus according to Nohles
“Our job is to help promote policy for safe and clean environment for faculty and staff,” Said Cooper.
The sheriffs said they will be issuing citations and tickets where applicable from now on.
“Our goal is to gain compliance,” said Nohles. “And the only way to do that is to issue citations or hit the pocket book.”