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Smoking in designated areas

Michael Runyon | Photographer

Designated areas for smokers will come into effect in August throughout the SCSU campus

Those who use tobacco on the campus of SCSU are in for a change. Tobacco use will be limited to designated areas as of the first of August.

“On August 1st, you will find signs going up around campus that say smoking allowed in designated areas only,” said Mary Bongers, assistant director of human resources. “There will be areas that will be clearly marked as designated tobacco use areas. Not just smoking, but all tobacco.”

The designated areas are step one of a two-step plan to ban all forms of tobacco on campus by August of next year.

Bongers said, “You’ll notice that all the receptacles on campus will be removed from where they are now unless they are in a designated use area. The ones that will be removed will be taken off of their walls or wherever they are and put in a designated tobacco use areas. There will also be several emails coming out to students, staff and faculty about the change that will happen on August first.”

The designated-only smoking came into effect after SCSU received money from MnSCU to run a three-pronged approach to reevaluate the previous smoking policy. The approach ended in a student vote during the SGA elections last year.

Michael Runyon | Photographer

This map points out all the designated smoking areas around SCSU

Ssan Rabaan, a business major at SCSU and smoker, said, “That’s a troubled thing. I think they should have the smoking area for the students. When you have a summer class, you want to go outside and smoke. We will not be able to do anything.”

Smokers will not have to worry about getting smoking tickets during the transition year.

Bongers said about enforcement, “What we expect will happen is that someone will probably stop smokers and remind them that it is a tobacco-free campus except designated areas and point out the nearest designated area to them. It’s going to be, at least during the transition area, difficult and mainly peer-enforced. There are policies and procedures students must follow. Any other policy they violate, it would follow the same path. If it’s an employee, staff or faculty it will be reported to their supervisor.”

The designated areas will include all types of tobacco. Chewing tobacco will be allowed in designated areas only. There are twenty designated areas around buildings on campus.

Rabaan said, “I try to stay away from people who don’t smoke when I smoke. People don’t like secondhand smoke and it’s not good for them. I think they have to have the smoking area. It’s better than being able to smoke everywhere.”

Students, faculty, staff and community members will all be prohibited from using tobacco in non-designated areas. Smoking will be allowed in personal vehicles parked on campus.

“We’re trying to make the signs as clear and obvious as possible because we have a lot of the general public visiting us,” Bongers said. “They aren’t getting the emails and brochures addressing the change in policy. I think that we try to focus around the athletic events. There should be extra signage where we have extra exposure to the general public.”

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Michael Runyon is a Senior Staff Writer and the New Media Editor at the University Chronicle.

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