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Smoking ban discussed by University Senate

By Michelle LaFiura (Special to the Chronicle) Senators of the University Senate met for their second meeting of the semester to debate methods of enforcing the smoking ban passed at the beginning of this semester. The Senate is concerned by the number of students who disregard the ban.

The new ban forbids smoking on the South Campus. The Senate feels that the ban has laregely been successful.

“Smoking on the south side of campus is down dramatically,” said Provost Herman Berliner. Berliner also commented that the signs banning smoking have been effective and have diminshed the number of violations.

Despite Berliner’s enthusiasm toward the ban, there has been some disregard for it.

Kenny Cordero-Rubinos, member of the Student Affairs Committee, pointed out that some of the signs have been vandalized. For example, a sign near the unispan reading “smoke-free campus” was changed to “smile-free campus.”

Berliner admitted that he has seen students ignoring the ban.

“I reminded someone last week on the ramp to the library there is a ban,” said Berliner. “He just smiled and kept smoking.”

The Senate debated fining students who violate the new rule. Some felt that a fine was too harsh.

“I think we need to see if self enforcement will work; and if not, we’ll have to discuss alternatives,” Berliner said.

South Campus is just the beginning, according to Cordero-Rubinos, who says the ban will move to North Campus. The ban was extremely successful on the academic side and for that reason will be extended to the residential side of campus.

Chair of the Planning and Budget Committee Victor Lopez confirmed that the committee is considering the feasibility of the smoking ban on North Campus.

The Student Affairs Committee is already mapping out specific locations on the residential side where smoking will be allowed.

“The designated areas are a compromise,” said Cordero-Rubinos, who agreed that some students will be unhappy to hear that the ban is being extended. He also believes that it is a student’s right to walk through campus without the irritation of smoke.

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