Ashes to ashes: RCC smoke free

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By Wesley Hackenberg / Staff Writer

Smokers Not Welcome (Martin Iniguez Jr. / Photo Editor)

By Wesley Hackenberg / Staff Writer

We all find simple pleasures in life; some may be more unconventional than others, while some of them are daily habits.

One of these is smoking cigarettes, and though the dangers of smoking are evident, the habit has continued.

With the beginning of this fall semester, Riverside City College has recently become a smoke free campus.

Smoking was limited to the always hazy, but social area that many students passed by on their way to class.

That smoking section is now a thing of the past.

Feelings are mixed when it comes to the smoking ban on campus.

“It does not affect me because I don’t go to RCC to smoke, but I don’t think it is fair for the students and faculty that want to smoke but can’t go and enjoy a simple pleasure somewhere at their convenience,” RCC student Jordan Moretti said.

It is understandable to recognize why they would want to remove the smoking in the midst of the campus grounds.

There are the health risks, not just for the smokers, but second hand smoke as well.

On the other hand, why did they have to abolish it completely and not give the smokers another option?

They could have provided another area, perhaps out of the main walkway, where smokers could go and enjoy themselves.

To enforce these new rules of the ban, the campus police have been writing tickets to the unfortunate students that have been caught smoking.

Simply asking the smoker to put out the cigarette is out of the question.

Though many students and staff may not be smokers at RCC, and some may even support the ban on smoking, the question remains, why did they eliminate smoking from the campus? 

“I’m not a smoker and I don’t enjoy being around smoke, but I feel if people wanted to smoke on campus in the assigned areas, that was perfectly ok. I feel the smoking ban was RCC’s way of getting ‘greener’,” said Michaela O’Malley, RCC student.

For those that do not smoke, imagine if one of the simple enjoyments like coffee in the morning or listening to an iPod in between classes was taken away without a reason or alternative.

It’s a scary thought to know that some of the little joys in life can simply be taken away with no way to contest it.

One factor that sort of creeps under the skin is that they took away the privilege during the summer session.

Classes were not as full during this session as the previous spring semester.

 In the Spring, semester forums were held where students could voice their opinions and it seemed like there was some  ground being made. However the decision was ultimately made during summer, therefore, no one could say anything about it. 

It is very difficult to refute a rule when no one is aware that such a rule is about to be passed.

While forums were held, there still should have been more input from students.

One can only wonder if this was an intentional act of secrecy.

If smokers want to have a place to partake with a cigarette, they should have the right to speak up and say how they feel about it.

“If it is important to people, then they definitely should stand up for what they want,” said O’Malley.

Only time will tell if the smoking ban will stay in effect or if like the famous alcohol prohibition, the students and staff will speak up and make a change.

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