Student Government Conducts Smoking Survey

Allan Beglarian

The smoking issue is turning another page at GCC as the student government organization (ASGCC) conducted a survey of students to get a better pulse on what the student body thinks and wants.

The survey was conducted from 6 to 8:30 p.m. March 11 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 12 in Plaza Vaquero [faculty members have reported that they filled out the survey and weren’t asked if they were students], as well as in classrooms randomly chosen by ASGCC the same days.

“ASGCC was encouraged by President Audre Levy, vice president student services Rick Perez and Dean student affairs Paul Schlossman to do this survey,” said Robert Agaverdian, 20, biology major and an officer of ASGCC. “We want to know what the students think.”

A total of 1,025 students participated in this survey, which offered three choices to the participants: ban smoking, allow smoking only in designated smoking areas, or continue with what’s in place now, that is designated non-smoking areas which prohibit smoking within 20 feet of any open entrance.

Although the survey is not a scientific poll, the results are as follows: Out of the 807 non-smokers who took the survey, 413 were against a complete ban on smoking versus 394 who opted for a complete ban, according to the Student Affairs Office.

Out of the 218 smokers who partook in the survey, 105 chose to have some sort of change to the present conditions as opposed to 113 who want to keep the status quo.

“It’s not fair to ban smoking all together,” said Sevak Agazaryan, 20, a biology major,
“but others should not have to smell the smoke either. There should be a way to accommodate both sides.”

“I think it’s a free choice, it [smoking] should be allowed. It would be democracy at its worst to inflict a rule that destroys free choice,” said Laura Dayao, 20, an architectural major.

“The request for this survey came from the board,” said Tzoler Oukayan, a student activities coordinator. “It is difficult to enforce the policy in place (No smoking within 20 feet of open entrances) and we want to know how the student body feels about this issue.”

“A lot of students were thankful that someone was taking the initiative in this survey process and hoping some kind of action will take place,” said Oukayan.