SGA senators debate what to do about students who ignore designated smoking areas

The Student Government Association talked about the campuswide smoking ban and controversy surrounding the designated smoking areas on Wednesday evening.

Since the implementation of Ball State University's partial ban in March, there have been many issues between smokers and non-smokers, said various senators.

At the weekly meeting, Senator Daniel Willart stressed the importance of getting in touch with the people in charge of enforcing the smoking areas and handing out citations.

"We need to find out what's being done to combat the growing problem of people smoking outside the designated areas," Willart said.

SGA will try to emphasize awareness of the smoking areas around campus to reduce the number of citations handed out, he said.

Senator Jennifer Julius said she wanted to see more awareness and enforcement within the residence hall smoking areas, which have seen an increase in complaints due to noise and proximity.

"The areas and rules should be followed by everyone, but we can't force residential advisors to discipline smokers outside their jurisdiction," Julius said.

Julius also said that one reason people don't address these situations is because they might be afraid of stepping on people's toes.

Current policy states it is the responsibility of academic department heads, public safety personnel and faculty to enforce the ban and administer the $50 citation, but these people are not always present when violations occur.

Many ideas were presented during the discussion including the possibility of structures in which smokers may smoke during bad weather. Another idea that was presented was moving the smoking areas away from buildings and making them easier to distinguish from nonsmoking areas. The designated area behind the LaFollette Complex, for example, is positioned in a wind tunnel that forces the smoke into open windows and causes problems for students living in Brayton-Clevenger halls.

According to Julius, a bigger problem than the secondhand smoke at LaFollette is the noise, which is constantly violating quiet hours and distracting residents on the first three floors.

"It's not just hall directors who should be enforcing the smoking ban rules," Julius said. "People should be courteous to non-smokers."


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