Last spring San Diego State adopted a smoke and tobacco-free policy across campus in an effort to create a healthy environment. Although the policy is into its second semester, many students and faculty still feel it’s presence on campus.
“I’ve seen it a lot by the transit station, and a few when walking from the bridge from the dorms,” nursing sophomore Ariana Chaney said. “I’ve definitely seen them, and it’s smelly.”
Other common smoking areas include parking lots, the koi pond, and former smoking areas.
Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies Administrative Coordinator Bertha Hernandez sees them on a regular basis.
“I see them in Parking Structure 8 quite frequently, hiding behind the elevator,” Hernandez said. “They’re trying to hide, let me put it that way.”
To enforce the policy, SDSU decided upon “Social Enforcement,” a method described on the policy’s website as members of the SDSU community opening communication.
The policy page provides sample scripts about how to approach someone who is smoking on campus. However, like business management sophomore Priya Dave, not all are comfortable with confronting someone they don’t know.
“I don’t think it’s any of my business,” Dave said. “That’s not something I think any student is comfortable with.”
Some aren’t too concerned as the smoking isn’t directly affecting them.
Engineering senior Jonathon Uriu said he has seen smokers huddled in groups but didn’t feel compelled to say anything.
“When I (saw people smoking) I was like ‘Eh, there’s a sign over there. I’m not going to ruin their day,’” Uriu said. “Some people are really dependent on them and if it helps them get through their day … it’s not bothering me that much.”
But for those that chose to inform smokers of the policy, reactions vary.
“Some feign ignorance, some ignore me, and some are rude,” Hernandez said. “One student told me to get a life, and I said ‘Get a healthier life.’”
Although smoking is still present on campus, the amount has decreased since the policy’s implementation.
“When some of my colleagues called our peer institutions, like San Francisco State, what we’re told is that it’s typically a four-five year process,” Associate Vice President of Operations and University Architect Robert Schulz said. “You’re trying to change a culture.”
Schulz chairs an implementation committee that he said meets monthly to examine the policy’s progress.
According to the website about the smoking police, if social enforcement doesn’t work, complaints can filed to either the Office of Human Resources for employee violations or the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities for student violations. Most popular cigarette brand among students is Winston http://www.mydiscountcigarette.net/buy/winston
“As a student you are obligated to follow the university’s code of conduct. And if you don’t, that’s subject to student discipline,” Schulz said.