Photo Courtesy of Alexia Mersola
Pack of Camel Cigarettes sitting on designated smoking area
By Alexia Mersola
Ever wonder what the yellow umbrellas are for on campus? They are to indicate smoking areas for those students at COD who need a smoke break. Those are the only areas on campus that are not restricted and are available for use anytime of the day.
Now although these restrictions are clearly stated in the handbook, they are also mentioned in the orientation that is required by new students to watch before registering for classes. This particular policy is to be followed by all staff, students and visitors who step onto the COD campuses and are to be enforced by the Vice President of Business Affairs. However, according to ASCOD and the Green Council here, they are looking to change the entire policy to a smoke free campus, which the CSU’s and UC’s have already implemented onto their campuses.
In an interview with Kurt Leuschner, a natural resources professor at COD and head of the Green Council, several questions were answered about what exactly to be expected from this new policy and what the students need to understand about how it will be modeled. Leuschner said that as of right now COD is still a smoking restricted campus. Smoking and vaping is only allowed at the yellow umbrella sites around campus, but it is not being heavily enforced at this moment in time.
One of the biggest concerns amongst students is exactly when this policy will go into effect. Professor Leuschner states, “If we become a smoke-free campus, there would be a grace period of up to one year before any penalties might occur for a violation.” In addition to these new reinforcements, he included that ideally they would like to have “an educational campaign to get the word out and to help anyone who wants to quit smoking.”
Now as there is frequent conversation about this new policy, the school still has a long way to go before it can become officially smoke free. In order for the campus to become a smoke-free campus it will have to be approved by the student body, Academic Senate and then the Board of Trustees.