Student government supports SCC smoking ban
April 6, 2014
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In a 4-3 vote, the Associated Students of Solano College student government narrowly approved the Solano Community College district policy of non-smoking on all district property, at their April 1 meeting.
Much of the debate centered around the rights of smokers and non-smokers on district property.
“We need to recognize the rights of the non-smokers and the impact of second hand smoke,” said Christian Ogden, academic curriculum senator.
“If we prohibit people from doing something, they are going to do it,” said Luis Garcia, diversity affairs senator.
Positing an alternative, Nick Battiste, the career technical education associate, suggested that a student vote be taken on whether there should be a smoking ban on all district property. Battiste also recommended that smoking areas be established.
“We should support our students, non-smokers and smokers” said Geff Freire, vocational curriculum senator. “There should be established smoking zones.”
Four student government associates, who offer advisory votes to the student senate voted not to support the ban.
The SCC governing board approved the prohibition of smoking on district property in July of 2012 with approval of policy 4215, “The Solano Community College District is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its students, employees, and visitors. Because it has been determined that the smoking of tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke pose significant health hazards, the District is hereby establishing a smoke free policy on all District property.”
According to a policy amendment, the ban also includes the use of chewing tobacco and snuff.
The same amendment also allowed for the creation of smoking zones on district property for a full year after the policy passed the governing board.
Deans Jerry Kea and Maire Morinec began in 2010 to advocate for a smoke-free campus after Morinec observed smoking activity near the childcare center.
Kea drew up the smoke-free policy after a survey given on campus in 2011 showed that 75 to 80 percent of students were in favor of a smoke-free environment.
The student government defeated a motion, 3-4, recommending that the college administration begin in earnest to enforce the ban on smoking through ticketing.
Ogden was the swing-vote as he voted for the ASSC to support the ban on smoking but did not support the idea of enforced ticketing.