25-foot smoking policy effective immediately

by Julia Ernst

Smokers are now going to have to bring a tape measure with their cigarettes when they go outside to light up, to ensure that they’re 25 feet away from all buildings.

Several weeks after the idea was brought up to edit university policy and require smokers to stand at least 25 feet away from all residence halls and campus buildings, the Student Government Association passed the motion.

“Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of all building entrances, within 25 feet of operable first floor windows, and within 25 feet of any building louvers or grilles providing outside air intake,” reads an addendum to the smoking policy in The Source, the university’s policy manual that was sent out by e-mail to all Rider community members.

The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, passed in 2006, prohibits smoking in places of business and common public areas that are outdoors. When the campus policy was originally changed, smoking became prohibited within 10 feet of buildings.

The new policy also aligns with the university’s continuing efforts to “go green.” The newly constructed West Village Commons, opening in the fall of 2009, are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, and the change to the smoking policy is necessary for this certification.

Dean of Students Anthony Campbell said that the new policy will be enforced by Public Safety officers and resident advisors (RAs).

Zarif Islam, a junior who is an RA in Poyda Hall, said that he has not officially yet been told what will be required of him to enforce the new policy, but that he expects to hear more at the next staff meeting for Poyda RAs.

“I haven’t actually had my staff meeting yet, but my residence director has said in passing that we will be expected to enforce it,” Islam said. “It’s a change to The Source, and we are expected to enforce the policies as described or defined by The Source.”

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