By Marc Lucarini
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The fall semester at Camden County College began in early September with new and returning students setting out to further their education. In the previous semesters smoking was allowed outside of the building on Camden County’s campus and trashcans with ash tray lids and benches stood for the college students who smoked, but this fall semester would not be the same as the rest.
Camden County’s administration had passed a law making the campus a smoke-free environment and removed all of the ash trays and replaced them with signs stating “smoking $25 fine.” Although this may not seem as a shock to many due to the recent smoking in public bans arising in many states, there are many students who do not agree with this new law.
Kelly McKeever, a Camden County student for the last two years, states, “We are not in a confined room and we should have the right to smoke on campus if we choose to do so.”
McKeever is one of Camden County’s smoking students who along with many of the other smoking students believe it is a violation of their rights to be told they cannot smoke on campus.
On the flip side to McKeever’s statement, another student, Beth Boran, who has also attended Camden County for the last two years, states, “Even though the students smoking are outside of the buildings they migrate to the entrance and when entering and exiting the buildings you are engulfed in a cloud of smoke and it’s disgusting.”
With this new law come many pros and cons that students seem to be separated by, but the majority are saying that the new smoking ban is making the campus a healthier and clean area but for the smokers the campus is more stressful due to the fact that they must find somewhere that smoking is allowed.
Administrators at Camden County may have solved the smoking problem on campus but the solution has left the students who smoke questioning if their rights have been violated and all students, smokers and non-smokers, wondering what new changes will come with the spring 2011 semester.