No Smoking Within 25 Feet

(The PICKET)- The Student Government Association suggests starting a committee after several students raised concerns over people smoking too close to the buildings.

“I know this has been a significant problem for most buildings, most notably White Hall, Knutti Hall, and Snyder Hall,” Caroline Shamberger, SGA vice president, said in an email.

“I am hoping that a committee can be started, not many people showed interest in joining a committee,” Caitlin O’Connor, SGA president, said in an email. “I hope we will be able to encourage students to join a committee so we can help to improve our school with a way to enforce the smoking rules on campus,”

Shepherd allows students designating smoking areas 25 feet from the buildings.

Other schools nearby such as Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia,

Maryland University in College Park, Maryland, and Fairmount State University in Fairmont, West Virginia, are all smoke-free campuses.

“I live in Turner and my room is right above the entrance where people stand and smoke, sometimes smoke carries into my room. It’s a mild annoyance,” said Westley Elkins, a communications major.

In 2014 it was reported that 40 million people ages 18 or older were smoking cigarettes and that nearly 19 out of every 100 men and 15 out of every 100 women smoked cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I started smoking in high school. All of my friends smoked, and we’d go to parties and everyone would be smoking, so I started smoking. The day I turned 18 I was out on the front porch smoking, I stopped hiding it from my parents,” said Christian Thompson, communications major.

“I’ve been smoking since I was 17, and really I wish I would have never started. But regardless of whether I smoke or not, I feel like banning smoking all together is an infringement on our rights,” said Spenser VanHoose, political science major. “If I’m not smoking inside of a building or too close to a doorway, then Shepherd shouldn’t be allowed to tell me if I’m allowed to smoke or not. I think that goes for any institution that tries to ban smoking, not just Shepherd,”