According to the student handbook, Elizabethtown College is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive work and living-learning environment for the campus community. As part of this, campus buildings are smoke-free zones and smoking and the use of tobacco in any form is prohibited in all facilities of Elizabethtown College at all locations, including College vehicles. However, at the start of the new semester, a new revision was added stating that the Baugher Student Center terrace areas, all athletic venues and outdoor classrooms are now smoke-free zones.
The handbook goes on to say that the policy applies to all students, employees, clients, contractors, and visitors. “Smoking shall be permitted only at a reasonable distance (20 feet or more) outside any enclosed area or building entrance so as to ensure that secondhand smoke does not enter the area through entrances, windows, ventilation systems, or any other means.”
“The evidence is clear that second-hand smoke is a health hazard,” Dean of Students, Marianne Calenda said. “Student Senate raised specific concerns about the 20-ft perimeter smoke free zones not being respected by students and others. Student Senate and the Employee Wellness Team requested that the college reinforce the 20-ft perimeter restriction and also prohibit smoking on the BSC terrace.”
Later, Calenda received a request from Athletics to consider the athletic fields as smoke free zones since these spaces are teaching and learning environments.
Assistant Director of Campus Security, Dale Boyer added “Many people are highly sensitive to cigarette smoke. Many find it highly objectionable and don’t want to walk through a cloud of smoke to enter a building, or don’t want to be exposed to cigarette smoke while enjoying the outdoor areas of campus such as the seating around the BSC.”
Junior, Carl Tirella said, “As far as the smoking ban goes, as a pack-a-day smoker, I can understand the need to separate us from high traffic regions. I know I’m a minority with my lifestyle. I just wish more was done to accommodate our needs.”
Tirella is hoping that Etown will work on creating designated, sheltered smoking areas near but not in the way of the academic buildings and BSC, as well as residence halls for students, employees, faculty members and visitors who choose to smoke.
Sophomore, Cassie Forwood said she has already noticed a difference in the now-smoke free locations and agrees with the ban. “I have personal ties to smoking due to watching my Poppop suffer from having smoked for 30+ years so I am all for taking as many precautions as possible to ensure students safety,” Forwood said. “I do not judge those who smoke, but I am very glad that smoking has been moved to less trafficked areas.”
Freshman, Cat Papili agreed that she has definitely noticed a difference particularly around the BSC area. “I think it is a great idea to ban smoking in high traffic areas because not everybody smokes and not everybody likes to hang around smokers either because they just don’t like it or they can’t be around it because of health issues,” Papili said. However, she agrees with Tirella that smaller smoking locations should be created, especially around the dorms so that people who smoke can do so without bothering others around them.
In regards to students who wish to have smoking banned altogether, Tirella asks that they see smoking from their perspective. “We are not doing anything illegal, it is relaxing, and it is how I handle the anxiety and stress that going to Etown can cause between academics, social pressures, and personal stresses,” Tirella said. “I just ask for understanding, and not to attack my personal choices as I do not attack theirs.”
For more information about the new smoking ban and other revisions made to the student handbook, visit etown.edu/offices/dean-of-students/student-handbook.