SU's New Smoking Ban is Coming Up Sooner Than You Think
The smell of cigarettes around libraries and dorms may soon be a thing of the past here at Syracuse University. Not surprisingly, some students are not too happy about it — “This is bullshit," says freshman Ben Hecker, summing up the feelings of many.
This past fall, Chancellor Kent Syverud sent out an email detailing a plan to completely ban smoking on campus beginning this summer. This includes any tobacco products, so yes, that does that mean your craftily coiled e-cigs.
According to statements released by the school, the decision comes as the university hopes to eliminate the problem of second-hand smoke, which creates health concerns for those who do not smoke or do not wish to be exposed to second-hand smoke.
“I hate having to smell smoke all the time when I’m walking to class,” says freshman public relations major Greta Rosenblum, “I’m getting a cough and I don’t even smoke.”
Both the University Senate and the Student Association reviewed the plan before it was announced. This is now the last full semester on campus where smoking is allowed on campus. Students can continue until the ban begins, or even perhaps try to quit before the ban is put in place.
Though many regular smokers are angry with the new law, some do see the purpose and are understanding of the reasoning behind the new ban.
“It’s intruding on personal choice, but I guess it helps the community stay clean?” says Hecker, who considers himself a regular smoker. He has made no plans, however, to kick the habit before the end of the school year.
The ban applies to the entire campus, including academic buildings and dormitories. Areas currently under dispute are more public areas of the campus, such as the Carrier Dome, the Sheraton, Marshall Street, and areas directly across from academic buildings, such as Comstock Avenue.
“I think the law is going to be hard to enforce,” says undecided freshman Matt Gillette. “I don’t really like the ban because I like the convenience of smoking right outside my dorm.”
The majority of regular and heavy smokers will most likely find ways around the new ban, which could create other problems for others on campus. The University, according to its statement, hopes the ban will foster a community of non-smokers. Encouraging the younger generation to quit smoking is a national issue, with millions of dollars being poured into advertisements against cigarettes.
For now, smokers are left with a ticking clock to enjoy their last cigarette on campus until Syracuse joins the hundreds of other colleges banning cigarettes.
Photo by Adham Elsharkawi