Smoking policy is left up in the air

Graham C Wheat, Features Editor

By Graham C Wheat

Features Editor

The proposed smoking policy at Bakersfield College is still in administrative limbo, and the ultimate fate of the policy may not be resolved until over the summer break. This policy may also become a district-wide policy if the legislation approves it.

According to Nick Acosta, SGA general counsel and spearhead behind the tobacco-free campus policy, the issue may not be resolved this coming fall semester as planned. However, Acosta is taking steps to further the initiative.

“From what I hear, they [the board of trustees] are really looking at it positively, the policy and the idea,” said Acosta. “I think it will take effect, it is just a matter of if it will be in the fall or if it will be delayed a little bit.”

So far, Acosta has presented the policy to numerous boards that control the outcome of campus-wide policies, such as the Academic Senate, the Faculty and Department Chairs. The final word on the matter, which is appointed to the board of trustees and chancellor of BC, has not been handed down.

It seems to not to be a lack of effort on Acosta’s part though. Granted he was not able to present the policy at the last board of trustees meeting, he and BC president Sonya Christian have broached the subject with the powers that be.

“I did talk to her [Sonya Christian] and she said she has mentioned it to the board of trustees and the chancellor, and said that it is going over well,” said Acosta referring to his conversations with the BC president.

“She says that they like the idea and they want to move forward with it, but as a district wide policy,” said Acosta about his informal talks with the president.

“The only issue seems to be that, if we do that, we are slowing down the progress that we are making now. If that is the case, it might not happen in the fall, because they [Porterville and Cerro Coso Colleges] must approve the same policy.”

Acosta has plans to urge the board of trustees and the BC chancellor to make some type of decision before he leaves his post with SGA, saying that although he is confident that new members will pick up the policy, he wants to see it through.

“What she [Sonya Christian] wants me to do is talk to the board of trustees,” Acosta noted this as being a perspective informal meeting. “To give them a run through of everything we have done with the policy so far, put pressure on them and say, ‘it would be nice if we could get all three, but we want to move forward with BC now. If it goes well at BC, they can jump on board later.’”

Incoming SGA President Travis Tillis gave a vote of confidence for confirming the ultimate end of the policy.

“If it gets caught up, I will personally make sure that the policy sees it to the end,” said Tillis.