Smokers Pushed off Campus

The line has been drawn. (Sofia Mas)

The line has been drawn. (Sofia Mas)

The new smoke-free policy at Skyline College has officially begun this semester, with designated smoking areas being pushed back to the parking lots and other very specific spots on campus. This may inconvenience people used to being able to grab a quick smoke in between classes, but the changes are designed to be better for everyone. “This is a public health issue,” said Lori Adrian, Vice President of Student Services. “It’s good for smokers and non-smokers alike.” Adrian emphasized that the changes were not extreme, and that the goal for now was to be as non-aggressive as possible. “We try not to be confrontational about it,” Adrian said. “We approach people and make people aware of the policy.” So far there hasn’t been much trouble with people smoking outside of the designated areas. There was an announcement to remind people of the change on Aug. 18, and it seemed to be well-received. There are also fliers and pamphlets available all over campus, and signs stenciled on the ground to indicate official no-smoking areas. “So far people are responding well,” said Brian Tupper, Skyline’s Chief of Public Security. According to Tupper, the immediate goal is simply to make sure that everyone is educated and informed about the new policy. “It’s not about punishment right now,” Tupper said. Students do appear to be abiding by the new rules, although some are not happy about it. Beth Gregorie, a student at Skyline, was quick to bemoan the new policy. “It sucks ass,” she said while smoking a cigarette outside the bus stop. “I have to come all the way out to the parking lot to smoke, and my classes are all far away.” Steven Duarle, who was with Gregorie, said that he felt the changes in policy were unfair. “They keep pushing [the smokers] farther and farther away from the rest of campus,” he said. “It’s like they’re alienating them.” According to Adrian, the debate on how to handle the smoking areas has been going on for years and years, and this is always one of the points brought up. “There will always be someone calling it unfair or saying we’re alienating people,” Adrian said when asked to respond to this attitude. Not all the students are upset by the change, however. Mario Reynolds wasn’t bothered by the new policy. “I’m cool with it,” he said, smoking his cigarette outside building 7A. “It doesn’t affect me too much.” These changes to Skyline’s policy are still new, however, so it remains to be seen how much resistance there may be. So far, however, the amount of cooperation is encouraging.