By: Cristian Inga
Montclair State University students have spoken and there answer is NO. Students do not want to see a 100% tobacco-free campus policy implemented.
The decision was made based on the results of a survey sent to students and staff asking for their feedback on the proposed policy recommended by the University Senate’s Resolution. The controversial policy was suggested to Montclair State University President, Susan Cole, last year and has since caused division between students with opposing opinions on the policy.
“We are old enough to make our own choices, there is no need for this policy,” said freshman Nicole Marcelino.
Upon learning about the proposed 100% 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.
Students were not the only ones unamused by this policy as some university faculty, such as Mirjana Goreska, a cashier at Outtakes’, were also opposed to it. “I’m a smoker and so are many students, it’s not right,” she said.
However, there were students who supported the proposed policy. “I don’t smoke so it benefits me as my lungs will be healthy,” said sophomore Mac Balisage. Judy Summers, Director of Red Hawk Math Learning Center was also in favor of a smoke-free campus. “I hate walking into smoke and this policy would be a win for everyone if approved,” she said.
The decision to stand against the proposed 100% tobacco-free campus policy was made on November 30th by the Student Government Association (SGA) after reviewing the results of the survey. The options in the survey were to ban smoking altogether, create smoking zones, or keep the smoking on campus. According to SGA President, Matthew Lerman, the SGA made a recommendation to look into providing a partial ban, which would provide designated smoking areas.
Though the SGA informed President Cole of the survey results, the final decision has not yet been made. President Cole will review the recommendations and decide which direction MSU will go on this issue. “We will see what happens next,” said Lerman.