90°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The initiation of the Smoking Regulations On Campus Act

Harry+Mertz+Bio-Chem+major+on+the+right.+Way+to+busy+to+go+off+campus.+I+have+7+minutes+in+between+four+hour+classes.+Im+not+losing+any+of+those+7+minutes+to+hike+off+campus+to+a+smoking+zone.+Increased+enforcement+seems+like+a+waste+of+Public+Safety+resources.%26%23160%3BBrennan+Bukowski+History+major+on+the+left.+Ideal+for+commuters+to+be+able+to+smoke+on+campus+and+it+seems+like+90+percent+of+the+population+does.%26%23160%3B
Harry Mertz Bio-Chem major on the right. “Way to busy to go off campus. I have 7 minutes in between four hour classes. I’m not losing any of those 7 minutes to hike off campus to a smoking zone. Increased enforcement seems like a waste of Public Safety resources.”
 
Brennan Bukowski History major on the left. “Ideal for commuters to be able to smoke on campus and it seems like 90 percent of the population does.” 

The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) officially passed the Smoking Regulations on Campus Act (SROC-Act) on Nov. 20. The purpose of this act is to address the current smoking policies on campus while also meeting the demands of the student body based on data about smoking on campus. In short, it is a compromise between smokers and non-smokers.
Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance Ellen O’Conner addressed the bill during the during the Campus Construction Lunch and Learn hosted on Nov. 26.
“At this time, there is no consensus on how to address the Smoking Regulations Act passed by the USG,” said O’Conner.
The USG was prompted to create the bill by numerous student complaints of smokers smoking in front of University of Massachusetts Boston buildings, despite the fact that there were no-smoking signs present in the area.
“In order to be considerate of other people’s health, the Dean of Students decided to work together with the USG to create a disciplinary action to further resolve this issue,” Evans Asumadu, Chairman for Campus and Community Affairs of the USG, said.
 The University Health Services Health Education and Wellness Program (UHS) and the USG had similar ideas about regulating new smoking policies.
“The UHS conducted a survey during Fall of 2012. The USG did the same in Spring of 2012*. Each organization created separate surveys for the intended participants. We discovered that a majority of people on campus smoke; 55 percent people are daily smokers,” Asumadu remarked.
“The passing of this act is significant because in the surveys, the student body themselves asked for these policies. We discovered that unregulated access smoking around the university negatively affected students’ health. With the help of the USG, students are able to resolve this issue with stricter policies,” Asumadu said.
The USG’s faculty representative facilitated the collaboration between the USG and the university’s administration. “We basically discuss solutions to resolve the smoking issue. However, we didn’t talk to the representative that much because we handle student affairs while they handle faculty affairs,” Asumadu stated.
In the documentation of the act, the USG has discussed that the 25-Year Master Planning Committee and UMass Boston come together to develop smoking shelters that will permit smokers to smoke in poor weather. They also encourage promoting healthy lungs and lives by presenting the appropriate resources. In addition, the USG stated that they would also measure the distance away from the buildings so individuals can breath safely.
Asumadu stated that the act would raise programs and methods of awareness to notify smokers of these new stricter regulations. “Our main goal is posting as many visible signs as possible to promote student awareness, before we begin to enforce punishment. Last week we met and signed a label to inform people about where they should and should not be smoking,” Asumadu said.
The act will be enforced by the University’s Public Safety Department. There will also be a student cadet to inform and warn smokers of the appropriate smoking areas. Signs will also be used to convey this message as well. “USG will work with the University by creating educational awareness programs about smoking,” Asumadu remarked.
“The difficulty of passing the bill was the fact that everyone had their own concern about how smoking should be handled, so we came up with a compromise first,” Asumadu stated.
USG Survey Results:
Question 1: Are you currently aware of the smoking restrictions on campus?
Yes 377 No 237
Question 2: Would you agree to more regulations or stricter enforcement of the current tobacco use policy on the UMB Campus?
Yes 504 No 122
Question 3: Do you think that smoking and general tobacco use should be banned on the UMB Campus?
Yes 289 No 335