Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

To the Editor:

According to the campus wide e-mail from Human Resources on 9/11, no more smoking of ‘cigars, cigarettes, pipes, or other lighted smoking devices’ is allowed on campus, and any previous rules allowing such activity on campus is now ‘null and void.’ Unless students are totally ignorant of news and politics, this is not a big surprise. We have known since June this was coming up. This law is a good idea. It will help protect the health of non-smokers, and may even persuade others to quit smoking. However, the way that PASSHE is choosing to interpret the state law is a bit strange and will lead to many complications. Now students will have to go off campus to smoke. Students that live off campus don’t really have a problem. They have somewhere to go, somewhere to hang out. But when a student that lives on campus steps off school property to smoke, they are instantly loitering, creating noise, and no longer in as safe of an environment. People that live on campus are trapped in their lease. Freshmen are required to live on campus, in a non-smoking environment. The WCU Department of Public Safety, according to the advertisement in The Quad (9/8/08), offers “escorts anywhere on campus.” When someone needs that late night smoke, is the DPS going to walk them from University Hall to Sharpless Street, so that the student feels safe the entire time? How long till the residents of West Chester complain about the increase in butts on their streets? People need a place to be safe. West Chester needs to update its website and other policies. A search of the WCU website on 9/11 for ‘smoking on campus’ comes with a result of the Sykes policy that smoking is permitted outside of the two main entrances. The ashtrays are also still all over campus. When will they be removed, and who is paying for their removal and storage? In order to best serve the student body, WCU needs to create designated smoking areas at least for each dorm, perhaps even one by Sykes, several across South Campus, a few near the Bull Center, as well as one on the academic quad. I’m sure that the smokers of West Chester are not happy (I am a former smoker, and this upsets me) and we all deserve to be able to express ourselves.

Casey B Wernick

West Chester Student

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