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RCC still lights it up

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By Mailee Virgen-Aguilar / Staff Writer, Additional reporting by Nita Gandhi

By Mailee Virgen-Aguilar / Staff Writer, Additional reporting by Nita Gandhi

Riverside City College has a no smoking policy on campus, or does it?


It sometimes seems like it does not because of the numerous amount of students who smoke on campus.


The Riverside Community College District has a no smoking policy that prohibits smoking of any form of tobacco to stop the harmful affects of smoking to non-smokers and to have a healthy smoke-free student body and campus.


Though most students agree with this policy there are still students who do not agree with it and wish it did not exist, and those students are the ones who smoke.


“I don’t know why smoking was banned from the campus,” said student Luis Hernandez. “I mean we’re in college and are well over age to do what we want with our lives, so banning a habit that many students and faculty members have doesn’t make sense to me. It’s annoying and they should think of changing their policy.”

Campus police are aware of students smoking on and off campus.


“Smoking is still a problem on campus, a big one,” said campus police officer Eric Williams. “Mainly because the only thing we can do is give a fair warning to someone.”


According to an amended document from Nov. 2002 on the non-smoking policy, students, faculty and staff who are in violation of the policy are issued a verbal warning.  Then if it happens again administrative action.  


“No, we are not issuing tickets.” said police chief Jim Miyashiro.  “We are issuing student referrals to the dean of student service.”


Miyashiro said that once the police refer someone, the dean will recommend the appropriate action to take depending on if the person has been disciplined before.  


Some student smokers feel smoking cigarettes is a great stress reliever, especially with classes, work, homework and other things in students lives.  


“Smoking is my stress reliever. I smoke because school, work, and homework all stress me out, it’s like my own little way to get away and relax for a minute,” said Jeremy Montes. “And I don’t mean to smoke on campus, but when tests and projects all come together and pile up on me it’s nice to just relax in a quick way.”


Student Health has literature about the hazards to student’s health who smoke and the health to students who do not smoke. The information is geared toward assisting students, faculty and staff who are smokers to stop smoking.   


“I understand that many people smoke and I’m obviously not surprised that smokers come to RCC, but why do they have to do it on campus? That’s my problem, if you want to smoke and kill yourself then go for it, but don’t come do it at school and have everyone around you smell it,” said Esmeralda Revelez.


The issue of smoking on campus is still a major issue for everyone.  


If there is to be a resolution to accommodate everyone then perhaps the policy needs to be amended again. 

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