ATHENS, GA- The Campus- wide smoking ban at UGA is causing some conflict between what’s good for the community and what works for some individuals.
Freshman are used to no smoking signs on the dorms, but starting October 1st these signs will be posted.. even outside. Letting students know that The University of Georgia’s campus is smokefree. For most students that means they have to wait to go home to light up, but for freshman… UGA is that home.
Kristen Henry, a junior at UGA, thinks that is wrong and says “So you are requiring people to live somewhere, where they are not allowed to do something, that by law they are legally of age to do.”
Henry started smoking at the end of her freshman year. But says that she thinks she would still smoke even if she lived in the dorm during the ban. She says she smokes because college is stressful, and that it is the one relief she has found that she has time for. If Henry were to live in the dorms next year, the smoking ban might even add to that stress.
Next year’s freshman class will not be able to step outside to smoke a cigarette. Instead they’re going to have to take a little walk. It’s not a long walk, less than a tenth of a mile– But still, they’ll have to walk up the hill and cross baxter to be completely off campus. And when the sun goes down, it could mean danger.
Henry points out, “If you want a cigarette, say at 2 o’clock in the morning… we’ve had girls get rapped going to the trash cans at east campus at about the same time… that’s putting people in danger for no particular reason.
We tried to reach campus police to find out whether they would enhance patrols in the area but could not reach anyone.
Executive Director of University Housing, Gerard Kowalski said he did not want to go on camera for an interview because the decision to allow smoking on campus was decided only last week by the Board of Regents and that they have until October to come up with a plan to monitor smoking outside of the dorms.
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