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New Smoking Policy Moves Smokers into Designated Areas

As the fall semester gets underway, members of the Manhattan College community will be met with a revised smoking policy on campus.

On Aug. 18, Richard Satterlee, vice president of student life at Manhattan College, emailed students about a change to the school’s smoking policy.

A committee comprised of students, faculty, administrators and staff voted to designate seven outdoor locations on campus where smoking will be allowed.

“We’ve identified a half dozen areas that we think are gathering points and conveniently located so that it’s not sort of an environment where anywhere you walked outdoors you could smoke on campus,” Satterlee said.

Smoking is permitted on the left side of Smith Auditorium, near Chrysostom Hall, Leo Hall, the Research and Learning Center, Jasper Hall, O’Malley Library, the Raymond W. Kelly ’63 Student Commons and Walsh Plaza outside of Draddy Gymnasium.

The idea to revise the smoking policy was proposed in October 2015 by Emmanuel Ago, assistant vice president of student life.

After a vetting process and voting in the senate, the revisions were agreed upon. Essentially, the school has gone from allowing people to smoke anywhere outside that was 25 feet away from a building, to permitting smoking in only designated areas.

The students on the campus life committee had much say in choosing the specific smoking areas.

“The students on the campus life committee of the senate, they were actually very adamant about, ‘Ok, we have these designated smoking areas, but they also have to be safe,” Ago said. “They can’t be in dark alleyways. We’ve accounted for that. … Just in case it’s late at night, you want to make sure there’s lighting and there’s a camera.”

The committee also debated whether or not to ban smoking altogether.

“We didn’t go all the way to a non-smoking campus, which a lot of campuses are, because we surveyed the campus,” Satterlee said. “That seemed like for us it was kind of like going zero to 60. The campus culture wasn’t going to support that.”

Smoking will continue to be prohibited in all indoor and enclosed areas on campus. These areas include, but are not limited to classrooms, gyms, dining facilities, restrooms, lobbies, student housing, locker rooms and offices.

“It’s a step forward for our campus really,” Satterlee said about the revised smoking policy. “In terms of its environment and culture I think. I hope that it will be received that way.”

Anthony Capote contributed reporting

1 Comment on New Smoking Policy Moves Smokers into Designated Areas

  1. This includes marijuana smoking I assume? After all, if the campus has the ability to enforce a rule against tobacco smoking, particularly in places like dorm rooms, it clearly has the ability (and legal obligation under state and federal law I believe) to enforce the law against marijuana smoking. The College will not be able to claim that student drug use was beyond its control once it has admitted that it can and does indeed exercise the ability for such control. It’s quite possibly a dangerous can of legal worms to open.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Peace Studies, 1973

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