New policy limits smokers to assigned areas

Chase Cunningham / @chasecunningham – News Writer |

Samford, previously a free-smoking campus, will begin Friday, March 1, to enforce a policy that will limit smokers to designated areas on campus.

Residential and central areas alike are all soon to be hosts of designated areas where students and faculty members may still smoke, but the move from free smoking to segregated smoking is highly restrictive; very few smokers will find their usual spots still available to them.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson - Photo Editor

Photo courtesy of Natalie Wilkinson – Photo Editor

The school has not been receiving complaints about smoking on campus; however, the American Cancer Society and American Lung Association advised the school to reconsider its loose policy.

“The new smoking policy seems pretty in line with what a lot of other schools are doing right now; I know Belmont did something very similar about 2 or 3 years ago,” said senior music major and avid smoker Ben Griner.

The original proposal would have meant an entirely smoke free campus, but the committee in charge ultimately decided that was too extreme.

“We started with a tobacco free campus concept but there was a strong sense by members of the committee that going as far as having a tobacco free campus was too much of an encroachment on personal freedom,” Director of Human Resources Fred Rogan said.

“We felt that personal responsibility and good judgment should prevail where we are talking about a legal substance.”

Griner understands limiting smoking in central areas, but said he doesn’t appreciate having restrictions on his usual smoking area at his residence hall.

“I live in Beeson Woods and there is only one designated spot in this huge area,” Griner said. “And it’s next to a dumpster.”

Garry Atkins, the assistant dean for Student Services, does not feel this will be the last word on the issue.

“The development of a more healthy campus environment is a general concern for many on campus,” Atkins said.

“As time moves forward, I think it is safe to say the university will continue to seek to improve the campus to include, but not limit to, ways to enhance the health and welfare of members of the community.”

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