Academic senate proposes smoking ban

The campus Academic Senate met and proposed a smoking ban for the Cosumnes River College campus on Dec.11

Currently American River College is a smoke-free campus. Sacramento City College, Folsom Lake College and CRC have designated smoking areas and any other areas are not permitted.  Sac City College is going smoke-free in the Fall of this year. All tobacco products including e-cigarettes and vape pens will be prohibited as well.  All of the Los Rios colleges are trying to promote healthy living, according to the correlating campus’s websites.  Second hand smoke is a big issue for students who are on their way to class and want to avoid the smoke.

“When someone smokes, everyone around them breathes it in.  If one person is unhealthy then not everyone else should have to be,” said 20 year old digital media student, Esteban Montes.   

Each college in the Los Rios school system is given the choice to decide whether they want to declare their campus tobacco-free.  Since there are already designated smoking areas, there isn’t an immediate rush to ban the right to smoke on campus but the focus is still to get rid of the right when possible.

The only problem in the way of banning smoking on campus facing the Academic Senate is the issue of how to implement the new rule and the impact it would have on the campus.

CRC’s Vice President of Administrative Services and Student Support, Cory Wathen said, if the ban is approved by the Senate, the parameter for where students can smoke is outside the gates surrounding the school.  The school’s parking lot is also a tobacco-free zone.

Wathen’s view on the matter is that he wants “students to be aware of the health risks of smoking and to be healthy, as well as take on healthy living choices.”

If and when the ban goes into effect, a student caught will not face severe punishment but be given a harsh talking to by campus police for violating the code of conduct, Wathen said.

Some students are all for the ban and others are on the fence about it.  22-year-old Michele Mariano an English major said she hates when smoke is blown right her way as she is walking on campus but has no problem with keeping the designated smoking areas for people.

“The restricted areas are so small, I don’t want to impose a bigger restriction on smokers,” Mariano said.

Some people on the other hand,have a different view than the Academic Senate. “I don’t want to take away something necessary for somebody. It should be a person’s choice,” said the assistant manager to the women’s tennis coach, Edmund Carter.

Based on the decisions of ARC, Sac City, as well as what Wathen said, CRC will most likely become a tobacco-free campus within a short time span. Professor Paul Zisk of the Sociology department who is a smoker himself is okay with the ban.

“Smoking is in fact bad. Second hand smoking is a known carcinogenic and besides it’ll help me quit,” Zisk said. “Many people have their own opinions on the ban but no matter the decision in the end, the Academic Senate will have the students and faculty’s best interests at hand.”