Smoking will be banned next semester both inside and in close proximity to residence halls after a new smoking policy was approved by Georgetown administrators.
Karen Frank, vice president for facilities and student housing, notified students last Friday about the decision to make all university housing smoke-free.
Under the current policy, smoking is allowed in residences if both roommates agree. There are no rules prohibiting smoking outside residence halls. All other university buildings were declared smoke-free in the early 1990s.
According to Frank, the new policy enjoys wide-ranging support. Frank said that she has received only two complaints so far about the new policy and only one was legitimate.
“I think this makes it easier for students to protect their health,” she said. Frank also said that the policy could also decrease roommate conflicts.
Most students seemed to support the new policy as a positive move to protect health and university facilities.
“I disagree with the proximity part of it but support the fact they’re not having [smoke] in the buildings,” Samuel Gaze (MSB ’07) said. “I don’t know if smoke would permeate walls or anything but if it did it could have an effect on other people.”
Some smokers, though, are upset at what they see as an infringement on their rights.
“I don’t like the new policy at all because it’s a student’s preference to smoke or not,” Tim Ralls (SFS ’07) said. “I guess I’ll have to find a bench to smoke at far away from the building but if it really bothered people I’d move anyway.”
The new policy was implemented after an Interhall Council survey found the majority of students supported smoke-free housing. The Interhall Council submitted a proposal which was reviewed by the Housing Advisory Council, the Offices of Residence Life, Student Affairs and Student Housing.
“We had discussions based on the results of the survey and voted to propose residence halls go smoke-free,” Megan Vetula (COL ’07) an Interhall representative said.