Designated Smoking Areas May Be on Way

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Smokers on campus may soon be required to light up only in designated areas as the college moves toward a more restrictive smoking policy.

Plans are in the works for three canopied smoking areas to accommodate those who smoke as well as protect the rights of non-smokers.

The project, which will cost the school an estimated $30,000, is in compliance with California Government Code 7596-7598, which states that no member of the public shall smoke any tobacco product inside a public building or in an outdoor area within 20 feet of a main exit or entrance.

“We have to keep the campus friendly for everyone so that smokers don’t feel that we don’t want them,” said Dean of Admissions and Records Sharon Combs. “Whatever we decide to do in the next few months must be enforced.”

If approved the plan will provide smokers with benches and ashtrays in a canopied area where they can smoke freely without worrying about endangering the health of others.

By restricting smokers to a designated area campus police will be better able to monitor violators.

According to the Glendale Community College District Board Policy the College Police are authorized to issue citations to enforce the policy.

As it debates the issue of smoking on campus the Board of Trustees must be sensitive to the rights of all individuals as well as consider the interests of the college.

While the Board of Trustees discusses the implementation of tougher campus smoking policies the ASGCC is busy approving Organization Event Support [OES] applications, which provide financial support for clubs that are having events.

The OES will provide $2,460 to a total of 13 clubs and organizations, among them the Justice Coalition and the Scholars Program.

The funding will enable the clubs to purchase supplies and equipment for various fundraisers and events they’ve organized throughout the semester.

The disbursement of these funds created some debate between AS members who felt that providing $200 each for the Justice Coalition and the Women’s International Liberation League [WILL] is unfair to other clubs because they are requesting funding for the same event.
“I don’t think its fair to fund two different clubs that are doing the same thing because it’s not fair to other clubs,” said Vice President of Administration Thomas Dryden.

Both the Justice Coalition and WILL are in need of funding in order to screen the documentary “Darfur Diaries.”

The AS approved money for both of the clubs with Luis Mares stating that, “The JC and WILL coming together for this event is commendable because each has its own agenda, so we should fund them.”

The Justice Coalition was not alone in raising some controversy in the AS as some heated exchanges were made between the Persian Club President Farinaz Sahabi and several AS members.

Tensions were elevated when the Special Organization Support [SOS] applications denied the Persian Student Association’s request for $350 for a table banner, folding boards, flags, name tags and posters. These items were purchased by the PSA for their Persian New Year celebrations in March.

The AS only gave the PSA $132.35 for their second SOS application for which they had requested $350 for additional supplies.
Although the AS decided to raise its recommended contribution to $175, the standard amount they provide for clubs requesting money for T-shirts, the strain between the PSA and the AS was hard to ignore.

The legislature denied the PSA’s request for funding on the grounds that the Persian Club did not submit its paperwork and receipts on time.

“We give priority to the clubs that give us complete applications,” said a visibly frustrated Sanchez. The fact that they don’t have a detailed budget leaves us at a disadvantage because we don’t know what to fund. Each application has a due date and the correct procedure must be followed.”

Sahabi was quick to defend her club. “We worked really hard on this event and brought a lot of publicity to the school and you’re saying a $4,000 event is only worth $175.”

It seems that the tension between some AS members and the PSA was about more than the $175. The issue was made white hot due to prior allegations of racism and unfair treatment aimed at the ASGCC.

Various members of the PSA commented that the AS was being racist in their treatment of their club and denying them funding.

The ASGCC took issue with those statements and demanded an apology.
“We ask for an apology from your club for calling us racist because those statements were slanderous towards us and completely uncalled for,” added Sanchez with an open display of anger and hurt.

The issue at hand may be about a refusal for funding but the roots of the problem are deep-seated and far more personal.

“We were really open-minded towards you and were trying to help your club, but your applications for funding were not complete, were missing signatures and weren’t detailed enough,” said Carolina Yernazian in an attempt to come to an understanding with Sahabi. “We were not targeting your club.”

Sahabi apologized for the alleged comments made by her club members stating, “On behalf of my club I apologize for the insulting comments and remarks about you being racist, but please give us a break. It was a misunderstanding.”

The debate between the AS and Sahabi lasted for about 25 minutes before a motion was put forth to end the discussion.

The PSA left the meeting with $132.35 in SOS funds and $42.65 in OES funds in addition to all the funds they had initially received from the AS.