Delta College students have noticed new signs posted informing them about an upcoming policy change aimed to make the campus a healthier environment.
After July 14, Delta will officially be a “Tobacco-Free” campus.
Students, faculty and staff will be fined $33 to $100, depending on the number of offenses commited.
“The use of any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is prohibited everywhere on District property. This includes District vehicles, leased vehicles for college use, buildings, basements, roof tops, hallways, offices, individual offices, athletic facilities, pathways, grass areas, trees, orchards, vineyards, fields, bus stops, roadways, parking lots, and inside parked vehicles on campus,” according to a news release sent out to the campus.
Delta College is also defining smoking as “engaging in an act that generates smoke, such as possessing a lighted pipe; a lighted hookah pipe; operating an electronic cigarette; a lighted cigar; a lighted cigarette of any kind; or lighting or igniting a pipe, a hookah pipe, a cigar, or a cigarette of any kind.”
In 2001 Delta passed a ban that moved smokers to the grass behind Shima.
In 2008 and 2009 Delta recorded a large increase in the amount of smokers at that area. Due to the increase there was also an increase in complaints regarding crime and health concerns.
In 2010, Delta updated the policy to move any smokers to the parking lot.
A Health and Safety committee attempted to find parts of Delta’s campus to develop into designated smoking zones.
Some areas were chosen to develop them to fit with ADA regulations, but the cost would be high.
Several of the locations were also too close to foot traffic. The project was then abandoned.
Smoking related issues continued to rise on campus.
Several smokers moved out to the hill in the Cunningham 1 parking lot and the smoke would drift into the child development center.
Delta began to research alternatives and found that they could attach a fee along with the policy.
“There are two types of smokers, the ones who are considerate of others and clean up, and ones who just don’t care,” said Delta Student Joshua Johasky.
Once everything was put together, Delta decided it would be best to remove smoking from campus completely. The proposed change was presented to the board during a November meeting last year, allowing students and staff to comment.
The policy was talked about and considered until it was passed on Dec 17.
“We are just waiting for a year to see if the ban actually effects anything on campus,” said Delta student Alexander Williams.
Delta is currently sending email reminders about the policy, posting signs and intent on creating smoke free pamphlets and fliers.
“We lost this battle so we are going to wait and see what happens. In 2015 if the crime rate goes up or doesn’t change than we will fight it. If it does go down than we will accept it,” said Johasky.
The biggest concern of most smokers on campus is where they will go now and how long it will be before the local businesses ban them from the premises if they all start gathering at them.