by Chelsea Kirk, Marymount College, Ranchos Palos Verdes
The start of a new year may be the start of a new resolution for Marymount College students. As of Jan. 1, 2013, Marymount College in Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif., has been declared a smoke free campus. The President’s office of the college proposed the idea of a non-smoking campus and over the past year, Sharon Johnson, Dean of Students at Marymount College, has evaluated the smoking policy and decided it’s time for change in the campus culture. Through received support from campus organizations (Faculty Senate, SAC, ASMC, and President’s Cabinet) Sharon Johnson has introduced to the Marymount college community a new smoking policy. The new policy restricts students and faculty from smoking on campus and the surrounding sidewalks. The Campus Safety department will be enforcing this policy, and the penalties for smoking on campus will result in significant fines, as well as the consequences included in the college’s Student Code of Conduct.
Though this change may be overwhelming to student smokers, the school is trying to accommodate such students by making Nicorette gum and patches available in the Student Health Center. By Fall 2014 there will be on-campus assistance to faculty, staff, and students who want to quit smoking.
While speaking with several student smokers, I’ve found this new policy has influenced the smokers on campus in various ways. After conducting an interview with first year student Benjamin Levine, 22, he has positive words to say about this new regimen. For a student who used to smoke on campus before and after every class (4-5 times a day), Levine believes this new policy is great. He comments, “I think it’s a good thing. It doesn’t mean I’m going to quit smoking, but it cuts down the amount of cigarettes I smoke a day. One thing is that when I see other people smoking, I need to smoke and because that factor is eliminated I have cut down immensely and it’s only been the first week back at school.”
An international student from Japan, Hideto Fukuchi, 19, doesn’t feel quite the same. He says, “We’re in college now, this isn’t high school. I am an adult therefore I shouldn’t be treated like a child. Quitting smoking isn’t my main concern right now, school is.”
Other students conclude that since the campus has such a small population, approximately 999 students, smoking never seemed to be of much concern to them. It is possible that with this new policy enacted, student and faculty smokers will reevaluate their conduct and look to make “not smoking” their 2013 new year’s resolution.