BC Votes No Smoking

Keith Kaczmarek, Reporter

During the Student Government Association elections that happened on March 20-21, there was an extra poll about changing BC’s smoking policy and students chose overwhelmingly for a tobacco-free campus.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said Tawnya Steele, 19, a biology major and a non-smoker who specifically voted so that she could be part of the poll.

“I’m personally not a smoker, and I believe everyone should have freedom and all that, but I don’t like walking across campus and getting a face full smoke.” Steele has allergies.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints and animosity from smokers and non-smokers alike,” said SGA general counsel Derrick Kenner.

“The student body has spoken,” he said, later adding, “When you ask me about it, it’s about what the school wants.”

“This is something like a dream that has plagued BC for several years.

“This issue, this plague, needs to die for us to move forward.

“This is a huge step for BC and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Kenner has been heading up the B-COUGH program on campus, an anti-tobacco initiative looking to exploit the passage of Senate Bill AB 795 that took effect this year and allows California campuses to enforce smoking policies by levying citations and fines.

The poll consisted of three policies.

They were “100-percent Tobacco-free campus” with 442 votes, “designated-smoking areas” with 295, and “No Ban on Smoking” with 156.

A total of 953 students voted in the poll, and the vote was extended for two full days so that faculty would have more time to vote.

Even with these results, several more steps have to occur for any changes to school policy to actually happen.

The actual poll is non-binding, and BC administers are under no obligation to actually change the policy from the current policy which follows state regulations  requiring smokers be at least 20 feet away from doorways or hallways while smoking.