Students are weary of the new smoke-free campus policy since its enforcement relies on students holding each other accountable, according to Article VI of the policy. The enforcement of the policy is based on members of the Chapman community reporting smokers to either Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, or Human Resources.
“I think current enforcement of the policy is somewhat weak,” said Rachel Hay, a freshman English major. “I don’t know anyone who’s really willing to take the time out of their busy day to go to an office and report one person who’s breaking the new policy.”
Hay said that she would also like to see signs reminding students of the new policy in areas where people smoke more often.
“I feel like it’s a gentle reminder that smoking on campus is prohibited without criminalizing the person who’s smoking,” Hay said.
Freshman creative writing major Ashley Musick said she loves the policy and that it’s nice to walk around campus and not be coughing from all the smoke, although she said it could be strengthened.
“Signs would be great,” Musick said. “Also, maybe having Public Safety or other campus workers just casually enforcing the policy if they see someone breaking the rules.”
The future of smoke-free Chapman
The policy went into effect Feb. 1, but there is still discussion and clarifications being made to help with the transition period, said Student Government President Josh Nudelman.
Nudelman said that the university is looking into a system where students would report the area in which they saw a student smoking instead of reporting an individual.
“The talk is to report an area and not just a person,” Nudelman said. “This way it won’t be a student calling out someone multiple times. If a student reports the area and time, no one is specifically targeting anyone.”
Student government is also discussing the possibility of creating a video about the policy with Panther Productions, which creates videos promoting Chapman on YouTube, iTunes and Chapman’s websites. The video would describe the policy and explain how students can help implement it in a positive way, Nudelman said.
Steps are also being taken toward making the campus aware of the policy and to educate the students on the topic. Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Senator Annabell Liao hopes to take a proactive approach in easing the transition and hopes to see posters advertising the changes, handouts and nicotine replacement therapy products offered in the Student Health Center.
Student government is also planning on bringing decals and signs to campus, however, ideas are still being considered and the total cost has not been determined, Nudelman said. He added that student government is also looking for other ways to educate students about smoking.
Nudelman will be sending out an email to the student body that will inform students of what student government has been working on and will describe student government’s role in the smoke-free policy.
“The purpose of the email is to make me transparent with the student body,” Nudelman said. “I’d explain how (student government) advocated for (the policy), but we were not the ones who implemented it. Not to devalue our organization but to instead debunk any myths and rumors.”