Baruch enforces “No Smoking”outside campus
Published: Monday, January 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 14:01
A staple of the 25th Street entrance to Baruch College are groups of smokers huddled together beneath the very signs that attempt to dissuade them from smoking there. Baruch's smokers enjoy this spot because of its close proximity to the Vertical Campus, however, not all students and faculty enjoy their presence.
According to Elizabeth Robinson, the Director of Baruch's Office of Human Resources, "Baruch College became a smoke-free campus in 1994. Smoking is prohibited inside all facilities owned, leased, or operated by Baruch College, including individual offices and entry canopies."
This policy was created in order to protect the rights of non-smokers so that they can be part of a smoke-free environment. It specifically relies on the cooperation of the entire college community, smokers and non-smokers.
Robinson said, "It is the responsibility of all members of our college community to observe the smoking policy and to direct those who choose to smoke to do so only in the designated smoking areas. The campus community is responsible for notifying guests of the smoking policy and ensuring that they abide by the policy."
Though this policy has not been strictly enforced for the past few years, the Board of Trustees has been giving more attention to this problem.
In order to impose this law upon Baruch students, the Public Safety officers have been more adamant about restricting students from smoking within 50 feet of any building, door or window.
Based on the smoking policy, smoking is only limited to outdoor designated smoking areas.
All designated smoking areas are marked with a signage. Every other location at Baruch is a smoke-free zone.
The smoking areas are located between Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue in three specific spots. The first is on the South side of East 25th Street, midblock, the second spot is located on the North side of East 25th Street , closer to Third Avenueand the third is situated on the North side of East 24th Street, closer to Lexington Avenue.
Smokers express their strong opinion on being allowed to smoke outside of the 25th Street Vertical Campus. For them, smoking right outside of school is convenient and creates a social network amongst others.
Senior Lasha Tsalughelashvili voiced his opinion on smoking as he was having a cigarette on the 25th Street Vertical Campus.
"There are a lot of students who go out to smoke regularly, especially during finals week. They just want to go outside and come right back in. They shouldn't have to be a certain distance away from the door," he said.
Junior Deech Jain expressed that "The school should focus more on other things that are actually wrong with the school than on the students. For example, they should focus on fixing the escalators as opposed to worrying if students are smoking too close to the school's campus or not."
For many smokers, standing underneath the awning serves as a convenience, but it is a violation to the area code that claims that smokers must smoke at least 50 feet away from the school.
For Junior Danielle Yehoshua, smoking underneath the awning is favorable during bad weather. "[Smokers] shouldn't have to stay outside in the rain and smoke. I remember my friend got her hair done and went outside for a cigarette and because she didn't have an umbrella, her hair got ruined"
Smoking directly outside of the school's campus creates a community in which students and even Professors are able to talk and interact with one another.
According to Professor Arthur Lewin, smoking outside of school is advantageous in the creation of an interactional society. "If people want to stay outside of school and smoke, it doesn't bother me. Students smoking outside creates some kind of social community. Besides, you only get a whiff of it. It's not going to kill you," he said.
There are however, a few students who really want this rule to be strictly enforced. Junior Maha Bute is passionate about having this rule administered all throughout campus.
"I really hate having to walk through all of that smoke every single day. […] It makes me feel really uncomfortable," she said. "People should smoke at least a hundred feet away from the door so that students who don't like smoke do not have to walk through that cloud of cancer."
Some students are worried about their health because of the second-hand smoke they inhale when they stand outside the 25th Street Vertical Campus.
Freshman Allison Bandegra feels as though students who smoke outside campus should be more considerate about how non-smokers feel when they have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get inside the building.
"I just want to sit outside of school and not have to inhale all of that second-hand smoke. I hate realizing that I smell like smoke when I get into the building."
Though smokers and non-smokers may have opposing views on their right to smoke outside of the Vertical Campus, the policy has imposed these rules in order to promote a smoke-free environment. They hope this rule would help in promoting a healthier campus.
On the Office of Human Resouces website, Robinson strongly admits, "Your response as a community to this policy has been gratifying, and has greatly contributed to a healthier environment."
She also admits that, "There are, however, occasional reports that individuals are smoking on the premises. Since the scientific evidence confirms the dangers of second hand smoke, once again I am asking all of you to cooperate to the fullest extent in complying with this policy."