The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Changes in designated smoking areas
City College new designated smoking area relocated to the South West side of the Learn Resource Center Feb 5. Luisa Morco | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

Pav Singh | [email protected] |

Smoking area outside of business building relocated after complaints

The spring semester is well underway, and banners still hang above the entryways at City College declaring, “A change is in the air.”

The banners refer to a program implemented by the Campus Safety Subcommittee that created designated smoking areas, or DSAs at City College before the beginning of the fall 2014 semester.

According to Karen Chewning of Campus Operations, the Campus Safety Subcommittee is a group of students, teachers and faculty members who worked on the Change is in the Air program, creating the DSAs on campus.

The “Change is in the Air” program has had a bumpy start, according to college officials. Some students have disagreed with the new smoking restrictions, and faculty members and students said they have been negatively affected by some DSA locations.

One DSA originally located outside the Business Building caused complaints, resulting in the DSA’s relocation, according to faculty and students.

According to Sara Eyanson, an employee in the Business and Computer Information Office, located inside the Business building there was too much traffic to get to the main campus through the walkway near the Business building because of the old DSA location. Before the DSA was moved, her office got complaints weekly.

“The change makes more sense in the new location, especially if the point was not to affect people,” said Eyanson.

Chewning said adjustments to the DSA’s location were necessary because of the overwhelming number of complaints coming from the business building.

The original DSA near the Business building had to be moved multiple times because of complaints from faculty and students about smoke entering the building and large groups of people creating traffic flow issues during peak hours of the day.

“The committee walked the area and looked at popular gathering points for smokers. The original location [just east of the flower beds lining the covered walkway] was chosen due to the amount of people in the area and its distance from buildings,” said Chewning. “It was relocated due to issues with the smoke traveling into the walkway and the Business building.”

According to Chewning, the new location on the south side of the LRC has received far fewer complaints and almost completely resolved the traffic issues near the Business Building.
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Students had mixed views about moving that DSA, but most said they realize the DSAs aren’t going away. Students also say restrictions will most likely get tighter for smokers in the future.

Musashi Takahashi, an economics major and smoker, said that the former location of the DSA was more convenient because he has most of his classes in the Business Building, and he didn’t have to leave the area.

“I don’t like the new areas. It’s better if you can smoke wherever you want,” said Takahashi. “I usually use this one because it’s after my classes, and I don’t want to walk to the one by the fountain.”

Although the change may have an effect on smokers and the area where they can smoke, not all smokers feel that DSAs are a bad idea.

Nick Purser, an undeclared major returning to campus after four years, said he can remember when the campus didn’t have smoking areas, and smokers could light up anywhere.

“The change doesn’t affect me,” said Purser. “If anything, smokers come together.”

Like Purser, Jerry Goldwood, an undeclared major, said he doesn’t mind the DSAs and added that it is understandable that people don’t want to be subjected to secondhand smoke. But, he said, smokeless tobacco and e-cigs should not be classified the same way.

“I don’t like the fact that you have to smoke e-cigs here. They’re not tobacco,” said Goldwood. “I got a ticket for smoking an e-cig in front of the LRC. It was only $20, but it was still stupid.”

According to Purser, Goldwood and other students who wish to remain nameless, the DSAs do not provide enough seating for students, and the covers are taken off the tent structures when it rains.

“Tables or more seating would be nice,” said Purser. “Ultimately, they want a smoke-free campus.”

The new smoking area is located on the south side of the LRC next to the drop-off zone and bike racks. The other five designated smoking areas are next to the Student Services building, Performing Arts Center, Lusk Center, Mohr Hall, and student and visitor parking lots, according to Chewning.

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