Students have voiced opinions on the issue of smoking on KU’s campus and, as a result, the Student Government Board is in the process of designating smoking areas to help accommodate everyone.
SGB was waiting to publish their plans until they had definite smoking areas in mind for each building. Since the idea is so new to the campus, SGB will start with signs directing smokers to where they can and cannot smoke.
SGB plans to put signs up over winter break to set this plan into motion.
SGB Representative Rachel Mullen has been working on this project for a year. Ever since it came to her attention that smoking on campus is significant issue for many people on campus. Mullen wants to make the campus a better place for everyone.
Senior Greg Adler, a nonsmoker, said, “We should absolutely have designated smoking areas on campus. Random smoking outside buildings completely ruins the campus. You can’t walk through a doorway without smelling it.”
Mullen said the plan is to have two signs at Old Main, two at Schaeffer, two at Sharadin and one sign for the remaining academic buildings. The only issue SGB is facing right now is that some buildings, like the SUB, are undergoing construction, which will change the smoking locations.
There is no word on what the plan of action is for the south side of campus yet. Around the dorms there has always been the rule where you have to be standing 25 feet away from the buildings. With the change happening on north side, the university could start to enforce the 25 foot rule at the dorms.
The board discussed a long-term goal of building an area on campus for the smokers to have their own space. There are not enough funds for this to happen yet, but it is on the list.
The board recognizes that they need to think about both the smokers and nonsmokers on campus. They have been trying their best to keep both parties happy with future plans.
When asked about the new smoking areas, sophomore Peter Snyder (a smoker), said, “I wouldn’t really mind. I like walking around with a smoke and I don’t know how they could really enforce that, but if that was the case I wouldn’t care.”
In regards to the enforcement of these locations, it will have to be a slow change so the students can get used to it.
Assistant Vice President for Facilities Jeff Grimm, who she has been working with Mullen the whole time, is now in charge of the changes that are happening around campus. Mullen has finished all of the research and planning within her power and has left the rest of the work in the hands of the administration.
The university has high hopes that these new designated areas will help control litter from the cigarette butts while also providing students with a safer and cleaner environment.
Mullen said, “I want to find a happy medium and not diminish the beauty of the campus.”