Students Vote Against Making Montclair State a Tobacco Free Campus

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Published January 18, 2017
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The Montclarion
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Photo courtesy of Fried Dough (Flickr)

Montclair State University students have spoken and their answer is “no.” Students do not want to see a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy implemented.

The decision was made based on the results of surveys sent to students asking for their feedback on the proposed policy recommended by the University Senate Resolution. The controversial policy was suggested to Montclair State University’s president, Susan Cole, at the end of last year and has since caused division between students, with some being for and some against the policy.

“We are old enough to make our own choices. There is no need for this policy,” said Nicole Marcelino, an undeclared freshman.

Upon learning about the proposed 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy, students, both smokers and non-smokers, questioned their liberty and freedom on campus. The policy would also include a ban on vapor and e-cigarette products which are seen being used regularly by students as they walk to their classes.

Students were not the only ones against this policy, as many employees of the university were also opposed.

Mirjana Goreska, a cashier at Outtakes, said, “I’m a smoker and so are many students; it’s not right.” Students have not only spoken for themselves, but for the whole Red Hawk community, including faculty and staff who wish to have their smoking privileges protected.

However, as there are members of the university community who opposed the proposed policy, there are also those who supported it.

“I don’t smoke, so it benefits me as my lungs will be healthy,” said Mac Balisage, an undeclared sophomore.

Judy Summers, the director of the Red Hawk Math Learning Center said, “I hate walking into smoke, and this policy would be a win for everyone if approved.”

The decision to take a stand against the proposed 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy was made on Nov. 30 by the Student Government Association (SGA) after reviewing surveys sent to students.

According to the SGA president, Matthew Lerman, they instead made a recommendation to look into providing a partial ban, which would provide designated smoking areas.

Though the SGA informed Cole of students’ stance against the proposed tobacco-free campus policy, the decision regarding whether the university will become tobacco free has not been decided yet. President Cole will review the recommendations and decide what direction the university should go in.

“We will see what happens next,” Lerman said.

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