Smokers who are used to lighting up cigarettes anywhere (outside of course) on campus should beware that Cumberland County College’s liberal smoking policy will be changing, without a doubt. Nonetheless, these changes, which will be effective July 1, 2013, will likely affect the campus as a whole-smokers and non-smokers.
Joe Hibbs, CCC’s Executive Director of Campus Life and Student Services, said that after considering the results of the online campus survey, which asked CCC students if they would like to see a smoking ban on campus, Cumberland County College’s committee, overseeing the matter, has moved forward on the issue and decided to implement change.
However, these changes don’t, at all, fall short of compromise. Ironically, compromise also seemed to be the solution many CCC students welcomed as fair and geared towards when asked how they felt about a possible smoking ban on the college campus back in December of 2012 while being interviewed for an initial article about the topic, which I also composed for CCC’s The Voice.
CCC’ s student handbook includes the current campus smoking policy on page 11. It states as follows: Smoking is not permitted in any building on campus or within 25 feet of building entrances. Disciplinary sanctions can be imposed on students who violate this College regulation. So what will the new smoking policy entail? I sat down with Joe Hibbs to chat about the changes and was informed of some of the new plans for our college’s campus.
Many non-smokers will be pleased to know that they will no longer have to cover their noses, as much, while walking to and from classes, trying to avoid inhaling unwanted second-hand smoke, because the new smoking policy will limit smoking of any kind, legal or illegal on the interior of CCC’s campus.
Moreover, the use of other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, will not be exempt from the ban. Even electronic cigarettes won’t be tolerated.
Effective July 1, 2013 smoking will only be allowed in the parking lots on campus labeled with letters (A, B, C, D, etc.) and one designated smoking area. Because of the ever changing weather and the fact that many students do not drive, the designated smoking area will consist of a shelter, which will likely be constructed near the bus stop across from the Academic building by the time the ban is put in place and enforced. Smoking anywhere else on campus simply won’t be allowed nor tolerated.
Furthermore, with new decrees, come new consequences and sanctions for those who violate the new policy. First time offenders will likely receive a warning, which will be documented for records just in case you become a repeat offender. A second strike will, however, cost you-literally! Second time violators will be fined and forced to pay $50. However, third offenses will double your money, well at least the money you’ll be paying. Getting caught smoking on the interior of CCC’s campus a third time will cost you $100. In addition, possible disciplinary action may be taken if you violate the smoking policy a third time.
Moreover, students at CCC aren’t the only group who must become accustomed to the college’s new smoking policy, however. The new rules and regulations will also apply to all faculty and staff. They can and will be penalized just as students would if they were to violate the regulations to come. Even visitors from the community and far away won’t be able to light up anywhere they want while visiting CCC’s campus.
However, consequences, if any, will likely be different for visitors since many of them will enter the campus ignorant of our newly implemented smoking policy and the rules and penalties that it consists of.
For more information on Cumberland County College’s new smoking policy, please feel free to contact the Student Services Center at (856) 691-8600.