ASG drafts tobacco-free policy for Saddleback campus

Untended flower boxes often serve as ashtrays. (thegolfchick.com/CC-BY license)

Keith Cousins

Saddleback College Associated Student Government has been working with the college administration to push forward a ban on smoking throughout campus. This would either be a better enforcement of designated smoking areas or a complete ban on tobacco products on campus.
   
Both Santiago Canyon and Santa Ana colleges have implemented smoking bans on campus this spring and have begun to enforce the ban.
   
The biggest obstacle in the proposal is the enforcement of whatever rule does come into effect.

“Saddleback College does not have enough security guards and patrolman to effectively enforce a rule that would span the entire campus,” said Waylae Gregoire, an ASG member working on drafting the resolution. “To enlist more guards would be roughly around $60,000 more a year per guard. Because of current budget and financial issues, money for this type of act may be very hard to come by.”

However the ASG is still committed to the ban, and are trying to jumpstart the process with the passing of a resolution by the ASG Senate.

After this takes place, “the next step would be to gather as much campus-wide support to show the Board that this matter is extremely important,” Gregoire said. “Their job would be to hopefully accept and consider our want of a ban and think of how to make it a reality.” 
   
The resolution has widespread support among deans on campus, including Dean of Fine Arts Rocky Cifone, who is in support of banning the use of tobacco except in designated areas.
   
“Board policy already prohibits smoking within 20 feet of campus buildings. Those signs are ignored,” Cifone said. “The debris left over from used cigarette butts, ashes, and even empty disposable lighters has gotten out of hand, affecting the quality and appearance of our campus.”

Until the resolution is passed by the ASG Senate and is placed before the Board, the current rules are in effect.
   
Students are already doing their part to curb the increased amount of litter left by smokers throughout campus. ASG member Sara Schack, 20, city and regional planning, helped organize the campus-wide clean up that took place last semester.

“During [last semester’s] Big Butt clean up we picked up about seven trash bags of butts in about five hours,” Schack said. She added that it is a student’s responsibility to clean up after him or herself and use the designated ash trays and smoking areas if they do choose to smoke.

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