The issue of smoking on campus is a popular one and not everyone has the same point of view, but where rules are concerned, what is right?
“I think as long as they stand a reasonable distance away from the building, there isn’t really a problem. But when they stand by the doors, the smoke gets sucked into the building every time the doors open, especially in the winter,” Professor Thomas O’Keefe of the Math department, says.
For a non-smoker, walking out of a building and into a cloud of smoke is not appealing or healthy.
Jason Stein, 19, a Computer Engineering major from Langhorne believes that there isn’t much that can be done about it.
“Most of the students here are over 18 so it is legal for them to smoke. You can’t really say anything.”
Stein thinks that an area should be designated for smokers away from the entrances to the buildings.
“It’s disgusting to walk outside and inhale a cloud of smoke,” Stein says.
The campus is not a non-smoking campus. Inside the buildings, smoking is prohibited. Enforcing rules for smoking outside is a more difficult task.
Signs have been posted on the doors stating the ashtrays have been moved and asks smokers to stand at least ten feet away from the building. Most smokers haven’t noticed the signs, those that do ignore them.
Dan Mayo, 19, a psychology major from New Hope said he knew nothing about the signs. “It doesn’t change anything.” Mayo said. Mayo also commented on the ashtray in-front of Penn Hall which wasn’t ten feet away from the building.
Kristin Weaver, 19, an education major from Fairless Hills has seen the signs. “I’m going to smoke where my friends are,” Weaver said. Jen Bierman, 20, a psycholgy major from Levittown agreed with Bierman. Bierman has seen the signs but is still going to smoke by the doors if that’s where her friends are.
Andrew Winter, 21, a music major from Chalfont said he was unaware of the new asked rule. “No one said anything about it to me, and no one has stopped me,” Winter said.
“It’ll be hard to enforce smoking rules outside of voluntary action,” O’Keefe says. “During the winter it’s worse because people huddle near the doors in groups to keep warm. Once the weather gets nicer, it won’t be so bad.”
“I didn’t really stand near the doors before, now I do because the signs are up,” said Molly Sakuma, 18, a psychology major from Doylestown.
“There are overhangs in-front of the doors, and warm air comes out in the winter,” Sakuma defended. “All they have to do is walk through the door,” Sakuma said.
Some students want the smoking stopped for other reasons than smoke. “It doesn’t bother me when people smoke in front of the buildings. I just think it’s a fire hazard,” says, John Testa, 18, a business major from Philadelphia.
“I didn’t know about the rule,” Nick Kolinchak, 18, a business major from New Hope said. “It doesn’t bother me,” Kolinchak said about the smoke outside Penn.
Chad Wray, 19, a liberal arts major doesn’t smoke. “It doesn’t bother me,” Wray said when asked about the cloud of smoke. “When someone comes out of a building they should suspect smoking,” Wray said.