Temple students may have noticed something a little different around campus buildings upon their return from the holiday break. Bright red signs are now posted at different doorways to enforce Temple’s new smoking policy.
The new policy, enacted in September, bans smoking within 25 feet of any entrance or operable window on campus. They read “no smoking beyond this point” and include a place to dispose of cigarettes.
The signs are to remind students of the policy. This is an amendment to Temple’s original smoking policy passed in 1990, which banned smoking in any University facility.
Since 1990, extensive research has proven the negative effects of second hand smoke. Temple’s new policy states that it has updated the smoking policy “in the interest of protecting the health and well-being of the entire Temple University community.”
“Several students complained of the smoking outside of the buildings,” said Temple’s Vice President of Operations Bill Bergman.
“Students would complain about the smoke hanging at entrances and getting the smell of smoke on their clothes,” he said.
Most of the complaints came from buildings like Speakman Hall where an overhang at the entrance traps smoke. It was especially bad in nice weather.
Temple students have varied reactions about the new signs. “I think it is stupid because [the administration] doesn’t own the air,” said senior Manoel Chavanne as he smoked his cigarette well inside the posted signs. “I came here from Europe where you can smoke everywhere so it is something to get used to.”
Chavanne added that he hasn’t paid much attention to the signs and hasn’t been reprimanded, either. The Temple University Police Department has done little at this point to punish offenders of the new policy.
“University policy is really just for the people to police themselves, and this is more of a health issue,” said Sergeant Guysen Lockett. “We prefer people to be on the honor system at this point.”
Lockett said they plan for this “honor system” to be successful and for students to respect the policy. He also added students would probably just be informed of the rule if they were seen breaking the policy.
There are some students who have had no problem adhering to the policy and standing at a safe distance from the doorways.
“I think it is a great idea,” said sophomore Cordelia Kane. “It is a compromise. I used to go to Tampa University, and they said no smoking on the entire campus.” Kane added she would have no problem with the new policy and understands the complaints of non-smokers.
Temple reached the decision to amend the policy after an examination of many universities and municipalities throughout the country. Several alternatives were explored for smokers, including the construction of “smoking huts” on campus. This idea did not materialize because the University did not want to encourage smoking.
Time will tell if students can find other places on campus to smoke.
Jason Boll can be reached at email@example.com