COC Takes Aggressive Smoking Policy
The College of the Canyons Board of Trustees voted in August
to make both the Valencia
and Canyon Country campuses smoke-free beginning with the spring 2009 semester.
Under the new policy, smoking will be allowed only in the parking lots of both
campuses -- at least 50 feet from any building -- and in one designated area
near Cougar Stadium on the Valencia
The board’s decision modified an existing smoking policy
developed in 1999 that defined designated smoking areas on the Valencia
campus. The changes to the physical locations of the designated areas caused by
construction projects and the development of a totally new campus in Canyon
Country prompted a complete review of the policy.
The review process involved a student survey conducted by
the Associated Student Government (ASG) in which 69 percent of the respondents
favored making the Canyon Country campus smoke-free, and 67 percent were in
favor of making the Valencia Campus smoke-free. The survey also revealed that
students were unhappy with the way the existing policy was enforced, with 63
percent of respondents calling for better enforcement of the policy. Based on
the survey results, the ASG endorsed modifications to the policy.
“This new policy is straightforward and clear,” said Dr.
Michael Wilding, vice president of student services at the college, “and adopts
the same kind of policy that dozens of other campuses across the state have in
place. It should be simpler for campus visitors and students to determine where
they can and cannot smoke,” stressed Wilding. “By removing the ambiguity of the
previous policy, by reasonably accommodating the strong feelings of both
smoking and non-smoking advocates, and by adding clear signage on both
campuses, smoking controversies should become a thing of the past,” said
The new policy and implementing procedures were reviewed and
endorsed by the Academic Senate and the College Policy Council.
Understanding that smoking is a sensitive issue to many, the
college’s administration has decided to engage in an education effort to advise
students of the new changes and not implement them until the start of the
spring 2009 semester, which begins Feb.
Students interested in quitting smoking can find assistance
at the Student Health
Center located in STCN – 122.