New policy may restrict smoking to parking lots

Anna Cole, Staff Writer

The Student Senate voted 15-2 on Nov. 20 in favor of a new smoking policy that would restrict smoking on campus to parking lots.

In the original proposal earlier this year, the policy restricted smoking to off campus by using the streets as a boundary.

“We thought the wording was just really kind of confusing to understand,” Jayme Krejci, chair of the Student Government Committee, said. “We didn’t think that people knew the street names very well, and we thought it would be kind of hard to explain that to students. We thought it would make it a lot to easier to understand if we just said ‘parking lots.’”

The new smoking policy will restrict smoking to parking lots 1-12, not including 15-minute parking zones. The current policy only restricts smoking within a 20-foot radius of building entrances. Under the proposed policy, students will still have to maintain a 20-foot radius around entrances while in the parking lots.

Wayne State College’s current smoking policy is not enforced, but the senate is hopeful that students will respect the new proposal to help maintain an area free of secondhand smoke.

“The current one is not enforced very strictly, but that is up to Campus Security to enforce it,” said Krejci. “We can make the policy and try to support it as best as we can, but we aren’t going to do anything crazy like write tickets, so if anything, it’s up to students to pay attention and respect it. If it is a problem Campus Security has the authority to enforce it.”

The Student Government Committee worked with campus public relations to conduct a poll showing student support on the issue. Of 140 students polled, 126 of them were non-smokers, 92 were in favor of the zone policy and nine of those were smokers, and 38 were in favor of a campus wide ban.

“By the survey we ran, we saw that the majority of students do support it,” Krejci said.

With student support behind them, Senate hopes that President Rames signs their proposal to put it into effect.

“We really just took a health stand-point saying that, ‘Yes, people have the right to smoke, but students also have the right to breath clean air,’ so we thought this was a fair compromise,” Krejci said.