The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

No butts about it: new smoking policy ignites ire

Behind King Hall. Behind the Mail and Print Services building. Behind the Community Center. On the North Apartment porches, but only when the proper forms are signed.

If you are a smoker on campus, you would do well to know these places.

Recent changes to Guilford’s smoking policy have coincided with a change in designated smoking areas on campus.

Students who are found smoking anywhere except the aforementioned areas will now receive a $25 fine for their first two offenses and the third will result in a judicial hearing.

“The new policy is ridiculous,” said senior Geoff Merwin. “The fines are classist because they create situations where people with more money can pretty much ignore the rule. They’ll worry about getting caught less, so virtually there is a rule for some but not for all.”

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow said the fine was added to curb smoking outside of the designated areas.

“We had to turn to a more draconian method to stop people from smoking where they are not supposed to,” he said. “It’s more of an enforcement policy.”

CCE senior Atia Ahmed took issue less with the fine and more with the principle of the change.

“Because I smoke a cigarette I’m diverse,” said Ahmed. “How can you deny that diversity on campus? It really seems to go against the core beliefs.”

Part of the issue was litter from cigarettes in high-traffic areas. As such, the smoking areas were moved to more low-traffic spots. The main impetus for getting rid of the spot near Bauman was because of its location near the Early College.

“There are some legalities with smoking being so close to a high school,” said Fetrow. “The Early College principal received something along the lines of 20–25 letters of petition from the parents of Early College students.”

However, some students feel that Public Safety is partly to blame for the new rules.

“Decisions on the smoking policy, including locations of the smoking areas, are made completely independently of Public Safety,” said Director of Public Safety Ron Stowe in an email interview. “Our role is strictly to help enforce the policy once decided upon.”

Other complaints are more about the new spaces than anything else.

“It’s inconvenient that they’re so sparsely situated, but I understand that some people don’t want to be around (smoking),” said junior Fhalyshia Orians. “I just want protection from the sun and the rain.”

“The only complaints we’ve really received about the new areas are about a lack of cover and lighting,” said Fetrow. “We’re working on getting lights and covers for the areas.”

Fetrow said that these new policies are part of a “continued progression to a smoke-free campus.”

“We don’t want to be overly friendly to smoking,” he said. “Many schools have become smoke-free.”

Many are even wondering what is going to happen to the covered smoking areas near Bauman and behind Mary Hobbs. Fetrow says that plans are in the works to convert them into covered bike racks.

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