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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The History of FC’s Smoke-Free Campus

After the Luis Munoz incident that started with Munoz smoking a cigarette, the question arose by many was “Why is smoking even banned on campus?” The history of the smoking ban stretches back to the 2002 academic year.

In 2002, designated smoking areas were set up on campus. When students would step out of the areas they would be given a map of the areas and a nicotine patch to help quit rather than a citation from Campus Safety. Then in fall 2004, during large amounts of construction on campus there was less smoking areas available due to the construction resulting in students starting to smoke outside of the smoking areas. Non-smoking students began having to walk through the smoke which caught the attention of the Associated Students President in fall 2004.

No Smoking Sign near the Student Activities Center. Photo credit: Frank Tristan

The push for the ban started when fall 2004 Associated Students President Araz Pourmorad proposed the ban in October of that year at an A.S. Senate meeting. Pourmorad had previously had expressed concerns over smoking to Health Services on campus. Pourmorad told the Hornet that year that he “does not care for smoking, the smoking-ban idea was only his opinion and that it is ultimately up to the student body to decide.”

Associated Student’s decided to survey students and Faculty on campus to see how they felt about if smoking should be banned on campus.

The proposed survey was the ultimate determination if A.S. would push for the ban. A.S. sent out the survey to 3,000-5,000 students by offering a free sandwich if they took the survey. The survey had nine questions with six that were focused on smoking. Some of the questions included “Do you agree that second-hand smoke is dangerous to your health?,” “Do you agree that cigarette butts are hazardous to the environment?,” “Are you in favor of a smoke-free campus?” and “Would you attend FC if the campus was smoke free?”

Pourmorad spoke with FC Hornet Staff Writer Daniel Hug that semester that the students would decide if the ban would go forward.

“If (the results of the survey) show people are for it, then we’ll go ahead,” Pourmorad said, “if not, then there’s nothing we can do”

Pourmorad also argued that smokers could prevent the ban by telling people to stay within the designated smoking areas suggesting a direct link from the proposed ban to students smoking outside the smoking areas.

“Smokers can help prevent this (ban) from happening by telling those who don’t obey the rules to do so,” Pourmorad said, “so that they can’t make the rules for us”

The results of the survey came out by December of 2004. Of 1,525 surveyed, (1,357 student, 132 faculty members, and 44 students/faculty) 952 were in favor of a ban while 538 opposed it (62 percent for and 35 percent against). The Associated Students then went forward with planning the proposal of the ban, or change in smoking regulations the following semester. If approved the proposal would go to the Planning and Consultative Council, who would examine the proposal and then the final decision would be made by the Fullerton College President Kathleen Hodge. At the time of the proposal, only one community college had a ban at Riverside Community College but Cypress and OCC were looking into bans at the time.

Smoke-Free Campus
Smoke-Free Campus sign near the Berkley Center on the Fullerton College campus. Photo credit: Frank Tristan

A.S. Senator Jonathan Barba echoed the fact that the proposed ban was a result of smoking outside of the designated areas and would be pushed forward if the problem continued.

“A ban has the support of a majority of students and faculty, if they choose not to obey the rules.” Barba said.

A.S. Senator Mahetzi Hernandez said that a campus wide smoking ban was in the best interest of the students.

“Our function is to represent the concerns of the students,” Hernandez said, “this is a concern for the students.”

Pourmorad said a campus wide ban was the only way for Campus Safety to enforce smoking regulations completely.

There were questions at the time of whether or not the survey was a representative sample of the campus considering the student population of over 20,000 people, with the sample only representing 7.5 percent of the population.

At the time, A.S. advisor Darlene Jensen felt the survey was representative when asked by Hug.

“We did get a cross-section of the campus,” Jensen said, “and that was our goal.”

The slogan for the smoking ban became “No If’s, Ands, or Butts” and would be put as a pop-up ad when students register for Spring 2005 classes. Spring 2005 A.S. President Alejandria Goodrich supported the ban because she felt that it would create a cleaner campus which in turn would create a better educational environment.

“We feel that if people could stop smoking at the beach and in restaurants, then they can stop smoking at schools,” Goodrich said.

It was planned that if the ban went into effect, that Campus Safety would ask students to leave the campus if they wanted to smoke. A.S. even planned on selling the bracelets to profit health services programs that aimed to help students kick smoking.

The smoking ban pushed forward to a vote by the associated students. It was approved by the senate in March, 2005 with it then being pushed to the Faculty Senate. It seemed like it was going to pass but was turned down Spring 2005 by the Faculty Senate in a tie vote due to the fact that the Faculty Senate felt that the motion was vague in how it would be implemented and needed to be discussed further alongside the campus.

No Smoking Homie
No Smoking Sign that greets students as they head towards the quad at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Frank Tristan

The proposed ban was pushed off until 2006 when roughly on March 13, 2006 the NOCCCD Chancellor’s Cabinet passed AB3570 that allowed all three colleges to establish their own individual smoking policies. A.S. started pushing the ban forward again with the only step left being to put into place an approval of faculty and classified unions both part-time and full-time. This pushed the ban to the proposed ban date fall of 2007.

In 2007, the I.C.C. President at the time told former Hornet reporter Kristin Swineford that many students had complained to the campus about smoking over the years.

Vice-president of Student Services in Spring 2007 Jonathan Morrell told Swineford in 2007 that the ban’s goal was deeper than just a smoke free campus.

“It’s really about changing the all-around culture on campus,” Morrell said, “although there will initially be resistance to this type of policy, overtime it will be known that we simply don’t do that here.”

Fullerton College became a Smoke-free Campus July 1, 2007 with the ban finally being adopted by FC President Kathleen Hodge.

Smoking areas and ash trays were removed with Campus Safety not issuing tickets for the remainder of the year until the end of 2007 to give time for people to be aware of the ban.

Hodge told The Hornet in 2007 that it was a positive statement by the students.

“It’s a positive statement about our students and their interest in health issues for smokers and second hand smoke,” Hodge said.

The American Lung Association awarded the 2007 spring FC Associated Students with the “Outstanding Community Advocate by a Youth Group” award on May 3, 2007 for their work on the ban.

The ban does not necessarily apply to everyone as well. Full-time faculty and classified staff are allowed to smoke on campus as long as they abide by the 20 feet rule, while part-time faculty, students and guests are not allowed to on FC grounds.

The campus has been smoke free ever since.

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