Students React to New Smoking Ban

Aidan Rutten, Staff Writer

Another cool September night meanders along, while students dot the front sidewalk of campus as a lone maintenance man carrying several “no smoking” signs readies them for placement.

Returning and new students, faculty and staff are dealing with the April smoking ban across campus. Some are happy, others indifferent and some are displeased.

According to Chief of Campus Police Gary Montecuollo, police action has been courteous, if not generous. “Not many citations have been given for smoking,” he said.

In these early days of the ban, educating students is the most important goal.

“We’ve spent the latter part of spring and all of summer educating students about district property, and outlining where people can smoke,” Montecuollo said.

Smoking was officially banned on campus earlier this year in April, much to the disdain of smokers, a GCC press release said, however not much by way of protest has been presented. It could be the calm before the storm, or perhaps the silent resolution of apathetic young adults.

It would appear that opinions vary across campus.

Eric Azar, 18, a  non-smoker said “It’s a good thing it’s banned.”

At first glance, it may seem as though students are happy about the ban, but many remain unbothered by the whole situation.

Veno Zadorian, 18, a  non-smoking computer science major said that it keeps the air clean. “I don’t like sitting next to someone smoking because the smoke would go right to me,” he said.

However, it seems to some that with such a previously big population of smokers, there would be more outrage.

Administration of justice major Jerry Barmaksezian said, “I think they shouldn’t ban smoking on campus. People should be able to smoke.”

GCC student Patrick Angel said “They have to make some place for smokers on campus.”

Those who smoke are now pushed out onto the streets of Glendale.  The curved road in front of the auditorium near the previous smoking area has become a popular smoking section, although campus police presence is picking up in that area.

Another problem developing from the smoking ban is increased litter on the street around the now popular unofficial smoking area.

Unless an officer witnesses first hand a violation being perpetrated, little can be done. “We try to encourage not littering as it is significant,” said Montecuollo. GCC assists the city in the cleaning of curbside litter, which reflects poorly on our campus.

“The complaints we’ve had were from a few — primarily faculty and staff,”  Montecuollo said.

Smokers are now forced to move even further down the street to smoke and are getting dangerously close to the bus stop where they are subject to tickets from the city police.