Cigarettes turn heads, smokers designated to remote corners
By: Olivia Walters, News Editor
A committee met during the 2012-2013 school year to flirt with the idea of making Furman a smoke-free campus. The policy was never approved, yet administration still supports the move.
Asst. Vice President of Facilities and Services Jeff Redderson explained that the committee, made up of students, faculty and administration, brought forward a plan to cut out smoking in 2015-2016 but it never went into effect because faculty sided against the change.
Furman has an exhausting list of places where smoking is forbidden, namely the balconies of housing and on the Paddock terrace, but it has even gone so far as to specify a distance requirement deterring smokers from lighting up within 25 feet from all buildings.
The Student Handbook judges smoking as inappropriate if done inside the residences or if a smoker does not comply when asked to desist. Violating the policy may result in a $100 fine. Moreover, Vice President-Division of Student Life Connie Carson called it a detriment to the environment and wellness of Furman’s community.
But it only takes one look around the campus to notice how discreetly standing ashtrays are stashed, plus the overall scarcity of cigarette butts on the ground.
Redderman said the Furman’s constituents use cigarettes at a statistically lower rate than other populations. Carson also suggested that smoking does not uphold the institutional values at Furman.
Yet the small cohort of smokers who do exist on campus are herded into one of three areas near Furman Hall; all to promote mindfulness and self-care, Carson said.
If this is an issue about freedoms, Redderman responded positively to the suggestion that Furman Facilities need to provide more standing ashtrays.
For now, smokers can at least take advantage of what resources there are that accommodate for the lifestyle.