Campus Continues to Debate Smoking Plan

Jocelyn Orellana

In 2008, a city ordinance banned smoking in Glendale in front of most public places, businesses and apartment buildings; GCC was left off of this list.

There are signs around campus that warn students not to smoke near entrances and windows. But some no-smoking signs fail to mention the distance you are supposed to stand from these areas.

There is a California law that restricts smoking within 20 feet of all doors and operable windows in public buildings.?Smoking is also restricted near all air intake vents that pull air into the cooling and heating systems for campus buildings.

“We enforce that law and GCC also has ‘no smoking’ areas throughout the campus,” said Campus Police Chief Steven P. Wagg. “The current ‘no smoking’ areas are located near where food is served and eaten, like the upper Plaza Vaquero next to the cafeteria and food court, San Raphael Plaza area adjacent to the San Raphael Building and the immediate area around the Milky Way Café.

“If someone is caught breaking the no smoking rules on campus, the college police officers issue a verbal warning. They would let the person know what California law they are breaking and also tell them about the current GCC regulation regarding the ‘no smoking’ areas.?Their name would be taken and recorded in the college’s database.”

If the same person is caught breaking the rules again, the campus police officer would issue a citation. The current fine is $35, which would be considered an infraction. About 15 to 20 warnings have been given during the past several years.

Some students don’t like passing through clouds of smoke when walking from class to class.

“I understand that smokers have the right to smoke, but school is a shared campus, and I personally dislike the smell of it,” said criminal justice major Nathaly Ballesteros. “I don’t think it should be banned. There should just be designated areas on campus where people can smoke.”

There has been much commotion about the issue of whether smoking on campus should be banned or not.

The Associated Students of Glendale Community College conducted a survey in 2008 in which many students voiced their opinions about the issue.

A total of 1,025 students participated in the survey. 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 participated in the survey, 105 chose to have some sort of change to the present conditions as opposed to 113 who chose to continue with the status quo.

ASGCC, along with other clubs on campus, has organized surveys and petitions during past semesters in hopes that the voices of the student body would be recognized by the Administrative Affairs Committee or Board of Trustees.

The Administrative Affairs Committee is involved in the process of making decisions regarding day-to-day and long-range planning and policies for the college. These lead to recommendations, which the Superintendent/President carries forward to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

Administrative Affairs has recently approved a policy that will designate smoking areas on campus where smokers will be able to light up without the worrying about getting warned or cited. This policy will tentatively take effect by the fall 2010 semester.

Do you think smoking should be allowed on campus? Take our survey at the right of this page!