smokingAfter Spring Break, there will be a strict warning period from the security officers about new changes to the smoking policy before issuing citations.

It has been decided among the security manager, the Student Government Association and Student Life, on February 19 at the Student Government meeting;  new smoking policies will be announced to smokers on campus through media and flyers, said Blake Bumbard.

“We want to give everyone plenty of notice,” Bumbard said. “We’re currently drafting the policy. When we do that, it’ll be sent to the executive board for approval. Then we’ll do a couple of weeks of media blitz letting everyone know through email, in the paper, social media.”

Due to the increasing problems and complaints of not smoking in designated areas and the littering of the cigarette butts, the security staff and SGA said they need to give plenty of warning about the enforced policies. Security officers are already taking action by warning and educating students about these upcoming policies, Bumbard said. Recently signs were put up to warn students to not smoke near buildings.

Sitlalyc Palos, sophomore biology major, said smokers should should stay in the designated smoking areas on campus. Palos said it can be a health hazard due to the secondhand smoke on campus and can cause problems for those who have health issues.

“It gets bothersome when people are standing in the way, and trying to get to class and you have to pass through a cloud of smoke,” Palos said. “If they just stayed to the designated smoking areas that would be fine but people don’t do that.”

Currently smoking indoors is prohibited and can lead to a state fine of $200. Since there has been an increase of designated smoking area violations, there will be upcoming university fees which will apply to those violations, said Bumbard. According to Bumbard, a student could be issued a fine for smoking within 20 feet of a building or for littering. Resident Assistants and Hall Directors contribute to decrease indoor smoking in the dormitories and contact security for those that violate these policies; said current SGA president, Laura Alexander and security manager Bumbard.

Laura Alexander, current SGA president, said the SGA is planning to pass a resolution on the new smoking policy which states their position on the current policy and how it needs to be clarified.

“There’s an issue about seeing city ordinates for the school policy and that also is being clarified,” Alexander said. “We’re working on enforcement from the city stand point and also from the school stand point.”