Smoking Ban Near
SF could stand for 'Smoke Free'
May 6, 2004 12:43 AM
SF State came one step closer to becoming a smoke-free campus after Academic Senate members overwhelmingly supported a proposal at a recent meeting at the Seven Hills Conference Center.
The proposition, which would limit smoking to a few designated areas, met little resistance, and will become a reality if President Robert Corrigan approves it. While the Academic Senate was practically unanimous in moving the second reading along, student reaction was mixed.
Currently, lighting up within 30 feet of a building entrance is forbidden, but critics said the rule is seldom if ever enforced.
“When we walk through campus, there is no way to avoid walking past smokers because the pathways are, maybe, 10 to 12 feet wide and people walk around with cigarettes,” Senate member Deborah Gerson said at the meeting. “The 30 foot rule doesn’t address the reality of the geography of the campus.”
Gerson, a social science and sociology lecturer, said she “got all sorts of lip” when she asked people to smoke further from buildings.
“The only thing that will address the reality of the geography of the campus is to confine the smokers, so that those of us who walk around have the opportunity to avoid them,” she said.
SF State wouldn’t be the first CSU to implement this policy. Fresno State passed legislation a year ago limiting smokers to 17 different areas on the campus of about 21,000 students.
At about the same time, SF State extended the non-smoking area from 20 to 30 feet from buildings.
Mor recently, in August 2003, the SF State bookstore stopped selling tobacco products through the two snack shops it operates in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
The Academic Senate cites the negative health effects of second-hand smoke as the motivating factor behind the regulation. Scott Jerris, an accounting professor, said he would like to go a step further and ban smoking 100 percent.
But the proposal will not become rule unless it is approved by Corrigan. The university president has the power to request changes to a resolution. The president's office did not comment on its position.
Some students thought the new rule would be too harsh.
“I remember when I first came here,” Fred Roche, a 19 year old smoker said. “They moved us to thirty feet, and we made concessions. I thought it was fine, but now they want us to do this?”
“Where’s it going to stop? It’s annoying. Why do they choose this, now? What about the smog from all the cars driving around the campus? Why do they waste time on this when the school is dealing with so many financial difficulties,” said Jennifer Plotke, 32, a health sciences major and non-smoker. “It’s not going to work because police have more important things to worry about.”
But many students, agreed with the proposal.
“I like it because every time I walk outside a building, it feels like I’m going straight into the smoking section,” said non-smoker and senior psychology major Mindy Wen, 28.
The proposal is not yet the official rule at SF State and some policy makers are concerned with a few issues. The total cost of designating and building areas on campus is unknown, and Associate Professor Connie Ulasewicz wondered if making smokers go out of their way would contribute to another problem: tardiness.
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