Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tobacco use policy discussed

By Gabby Limonciello
Cardinal Staff

Saint Mary’s University prohibits the use of chewing tobacco as well as the presence of hookah and all other drug paraphernalia on campus, according to the SMU handbook. The smoking of cigarettes, cigars and pipes is permitted when 20 feet away from any building entrance.

Any individual who violates any of these regulations will face disciplinary action, according to the handbook.

“Ten years ago these rules were not stated in the handbook and were not considered as much of a problem as they are today,” said Marc Hartmann, hall director and graduate assistant of student life.

This policy is important because it provides our campus with a safer and healthier environment for students, said Hartmann. Had this regulation not been set, the atmosphere students see now would be completely changed, he said.

Hartmann believes this rule is considered fair because it still allows students to smoke if they so choose, as long as they are the appropriate distance away from a building.

By not banning tobacco completely, students are able to engage in activities as they smoke, while also providing a safe environment to non-smokers, said Hartmann.

Students have questioned why hookah is not allowed on campus. The reasons for banning hookah are that hall directors and resident assistant are not certain if the student is smoking hookah or an illegal substance, said Hartmann. He also said it comes down to trust, and that is partially why it is not allowed.

Said Hartmann, “It could be worse – smoking could be banned on campus, which I am sure would cause some major issues.”

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