Campus Smokes

Is RCC a smoke-free or a free smoking campus?

Illustrated by Celeste Walter

Illustrated by Celeste Walter

Riverside City College is a smoke-free campus, or so it claims to be, according to a banner that was hanging between two palm trees in front of the RCC theatre.

While it is unclear who took the smoking banner down, the spot is now occupied with another banner promoting an upcoming play on campus.

The question is, does it matter if it is taken down? Did a majority of students, staff and faculty even notice?

It is possible that those on campus never paid attention to the banner while it was there, because smokers can still be seen.

One of the most popular spots for smokers is on the southern side of the Martin Luther King building that is facing the Landis Performance Arts Center.

At times, students would smoke directly under the “smoke-free campus” sign.

What has campus police or anyone else done about it to live up to what that banner claimed we were as a college community?

If RCC still stands by the fact that they are the first smoke-free junior college campus then what are they doing to enforce it? We need to hold each other accountable.

Back in 2005, an article was written by Viewpoints stating that RCC’s Health Services and former RCC President Salvatore Rotella’s Strategic Planning Committee had disagreements deciding on new designated smoking areas.

This came after the smokers requested a new smoking area on campus out of concern for the children of “Passport to College,” which was a program in conjunction with local elementary schools.

In an article later that same year, the Associated Students of Riverside City College reassigned the smoking areas on campus after working together with health services.

According to the article, ASRCC also made signs that read “Smoking in Designated Areas” to replace signs that stated RCC was a “Smoke Free Campus.” But again RCC took a stand that as of August 31, 2009, there would no longer be smoking on campus.

Which pretty much has lead to some students smoking anywhere they see fit.

Some students even unofficially reassigned smoking spots such as the back of the digital library, the side of the Martin Luther King Jr. building and the side of the business education building to name a few. Sounds a lot like a back and forth game of tag.

Well it is 2013 and students, and even some professors, can be seen smoking on campus. Can we just have a clear decision we can all stick with, give the smokers designated areas on campus or commit to being a smoke-free campus like we claim to be.

We can only hope that the same children who pledged to stay smoke-free during Red Ribbon Week at local elementary and middle schools did not see any smokers on campus when they visited RCC for the “Halloween Town” Trick or Treating event.

We believe RCC should be an example campus by promoting healthy activities and discouraging on-campus smoking. RCC’s campus should be a smoke free campus.