Smoking will not be banned on campus

By Armando Machado – 1851 Staff

This past spring Lasell students and faculty voted on whether or not Lasell would become a smoke-free campus. The final vote was 50.8 percent voting against the ban and 49.2 percent voting for the ban. The student body however voted 65 percent against the ban. The sponsors for the vote were Student Government Association, The Management Council, and the Faculty Assembly. 

The vote was non-binding however, and even after the votes had been tallied, the sponsors had to decide what action they would take. The decision was ultimately up to Senior Management Team, which includes the Vice Presidents and the President of Lasell.

While it was decided not to ban smoking on campus, it was asked of all smokers to “please show common courtesy to non-smokers by staying at least 25 feet from any and all building entrances and windows, and away from areas in which pedestrians congregate, or must pass through,” in a message sent out by President Alexander.

Many students were against the ban because it would infringe on the rights of smokers. “As long as it’s confined to the designated areas, it shouldn’t be harming anyone. Smoking is a part of many people’s culture. I think it would be insensitive to take that away,” said junior Sarah LaClair.

Others, however, were heavily in favor of the ban. “Of course I voted for it. I don’t want second-hand smoke which causes a variety of illnesses,” said junior Kevin Ambrose.

Vice President of Student Affairs Diane Austin said she fully supported a smoke-free campus, but also realizes the Lasell community must “respect the right of individuals to make decisions.” Many faculty were in favor of the ban. “Students come and go, but these people are here usually for a longer period of time,” said Austin.

Even SGA was split on the issue at the beginning of the voting process. “We were about 50/50 on it, but when it came down to a vote, we decided against a total ban,” said James Rossano, Vice President for the class of 2018.

However, although the campus will not be smoke-free, students are encouraged to self-monitor the policies in place. Smoking is not permitted within 25 feet of any building on campus. “We’re gonna ask people to please respect the protocol that’s in place,” said Austin. Austin believes the rule should be “self-monitored” rather than enforced by campus police.

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