By TANYA DUQUE
Even though there are designated smoking areas on campus here at John Cabot University (JCU), students and faculty seem to smoke wherever they want – at every entrance, courtyard and terrace – and many non-smokers have had enough.
“I am overwhelmed by the amount of secondhand smoke I am exposed to … I have never experienced this much secondhand smoke. The amount I encounter while walking into campus causes me to have trouble breathing,” said Gina Rescinito, 20, a junior studying abroad from New Jersey.
Rescinito knows that secondhand smoke is harmful and believes her asthma has gotten worse since her arrival at JCU in September.
The JCU student handbook states that “Smoking in restrooms, entrances to buildings, student lounges, lobbies, classrooms, private offices, the Don Bosco Courtyard, and in all areas of JCU Housing is prohibited; the rights of non-smokers to a smoke-free environment always take precedence over the desire of smokers to smoke.
The Lemon Tree Courtyard, Roof Terrace (the terrace that links the Kushlan Wing and Main Building) and the mid-level terrace of the main building are designated smoking areas.”
Despite these rules, students at JCU still continue to smoke near the entrances and exits.
“It is outrageous to me that although I do not smoke, I still have to wash my hair every single day after leaving JCU because of the gross smell of smoke that sticks to me,’’ said Julia Campbell, 20, a junior studying abroad from Boston.
“If the smoke is sticking to my hair, I can only imagine what it is doing to my lungs,” said Campbell.
Besides the health risks, many students also complained about the tossed cigarette butts littering the courtyards.
“I never gave much thought to how many times I would ditch my cigarette butts on the ground a day. I am guilty to say I do it at least four times a day,” said Carmine Morelli, 20, a junior at JCU.
Strictly enforcing the current policy and ensuring the cigarettes end up in ashtrays is a good idea, Morelli added.
Amanda Nickelle, 21, a senior study-abroad student from Rowan University, said that her home university requires students to be 15 feet away from any academic building while smoking. Nickelle, like Morelli, believes JCU students should adhere to the policy.
Meanwhile, Monica Hernandez, 21, a senior degree-seeker, said enforcing the rules stated in the university handbook will only help the university.
“Nobody is attracted by dozens of people smoking outside,” said Hernandez.