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Potential smoking ban still in the works

Community members discussed the potential smoking ban at Mills on Oct. 17, at a community meeting. Faculty, staff and students filled the Student Union to express their opinions on the potential ban.

At the meeting, discussion of the potential ban raised several questions and problems. Community members have been concerned that, if the ban goes through, smokers will be required to go off campus to smoke.

Students, both non-smokers and smokers alike, were concerned about how severe this change would be for students who smoke.

Sophomore Vanessa Cisneros, a non-smoker, finds the proposition to be overstepping its bounds.

“A whole community of people shouldn’t have to change their habits to accommodate other people’s preferences,” Cisneros said after the community meeting. “A lot of my friends are smokers and if they’re ever asked to move further away from a public area, they never have a problem with it. Non-smokers should be just as respectful.”

An additional idea proposed at the meeting was the possible construction of designated smoking areas.

A current student and smoker at Mills, who wished to remain anonymous, questioned how these areas would be paid for.

“What all of this boils down to is, well, nothing. No one is going to pay for any structures to be built, no one is going to go off campus to smoke,” she said.

Currently, there are designated areas set aside for smokers, as well as signs posted across campus indicating where smoking is or is not allowed, and smokers at Mills fear that the passing of the smoking ban will further isolate them from the rest of the Mills community.

Sophomore Lisann Zentner thinks the proposition could be promising.

“I have no problem with smokers. What I do have a problem with is when they smoke within corridors and abuse the boundaries laid out for them,” Zentner said. “I’m asmathic and if I’m constantly surrounded by smoke, I have nowhere to go.”

Junior Myles Luber said that there is already an initial “us” and “them” dichotomy living throughout the Mills community, where the campus seems to have been divided between those who smoke and those who don’t.

“It’s just wrong,” said Cuahtemoc Peranda, a graduate dance student. “I don’t understand how you could want to force people to change their way of life to fit yours. I’ve seen schools that switched from a smoking to non-smoking campus and it didn’t work.”