Students smoking in Lovekin an issue

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By Joseph Martinez

By Joseph Martinez

The new Lovekin Field complex lacks accommodations for student smokers, which explains why there are so many cigarette butts littering the ground in the complex, and smokers are present throughout the day.

Board policy for Riverside Community College prohibits smoking on campus outside of the designated smoking areas; the closest smoking area for the Lovekin Field is in front of Technology “A”, which is across the canal and parking lot “F”, above the big wall.

Smoking areas are created in line with the demand on campus, which is reviewed by the broadly represented Riverside Campus Strategic Planning Committee. The Committee meets each month to create recommendations for specific campus changes, which are then reviewed for approval by the District Executive. There are no plans on their proposed agenda to recommend a new smoking section on campus.

Student Activities official, Sheila McDonald, explained that designating a new area for smoking at is unnecessary considering existing smoking areas, and the compaction of the portable complex.

However, the Lovekin complex frequently has people smoking in the halls in disregard of the signs posted at the entrance.

The Student Activities office Vice-Chancellor, Linda Lacy, can send requests to campus security to closely enforce bans on smoking outside designated areas, but they are two few to strictly enforce the ban. As an aside to officially designated areas, a kind of agreement has developed between those who smoke and security detail at Lovekin field, according to an officer on night patrol. It is considered acceptable to smoke in the dirt between the portables or out on the grass. These are the spots where the secondhand smoke will not bother the public. It also gives an effective way for security to control smoking to an extent. The employees of the Health Services offices are always concerned over the adverse effects smoking has on people, especially to those who have an asthma condition. They have in their office history received patients whom have had serious asthma attacks triggered by somebody’s secondhand smoke. These cases of asthma attacks can be very serious and terrifying to the patient, and can even be fatal, as the office explained. It would be helpful to many if smoking was carefully kept outside of crowds in the designated areas. Some students seen smoking in the Lovekin complex noted the problematic situation it created. One student smoker, Darrell Smith, noted as he was smoking in Lovekin halls that state law has made it illegal to smoke within 30ft. of a public building. Student Gina Garcia said she smokes to relive anxiety, or while talking to her friends.

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