“I’ve experienced displeasure with cigarette smoke on the college campus. Some students even smoke at building entrances where many students usually pass through. Nonsmoking students are obviously exposed to second-hand smoke on campus.”
Kim Yoon-jeong (sophomore, Electronic Engineering), a nonsmoker, was irritated at cigarette smoke at building entrances or passages. Lee Yu-gyeong (sophomore, Psychology) also complained, “Most of the students who smoke have difficulty finding smoking places because there are few smoking booths available on campus.” That’s why the controversy over smoking on campus never ends. With more and more students being affected by second-hand smoke on campus, the situation seems to defy improvement.
Each College of Yeungnam University has designated smoking areas except the Central Library and the Science Library. Of the 15 colleges, The Yeungnam Observer picked out five to look at the real picture of the controversy---College of Liberal Arts, College of Commerce & Economics, College of Engineering, College of Sciences and School of Business. These colleges have been working to alleviate the discomfort and reduce health risks caused by smoking, but their efforts have proved to be futile.
Around the Liberal Arts Building, there are four smoking zones designated by the department heads ---outside the entrance, around the auditorium, beside the Student Council room, and at the end of the hallway on the second floor. The Student Council gets complaints about smoking from students before they ask the heads of the related department to handle them. The council is going to put up some suggestion boxes for better communication with the victims of second-hand smoke. The president of the Student Council of the College of Business & Economics said that at the request of the nonsmoking students, they have moved two of the smoking zones in front of Classroom 208 and the main entrance of the College of Business & Economics Building. As a result, nonsmoker complaints have been on the decrease. Today, by placing more trashcans, they are making smoking zones much cleaner. Given the number of smoking students near the College of Business & Economics, they also plan to install smoking booths.
After the whole College of Science Building was designated as a non-smoking facility, smokers can still use smoking areas around terraces and benches outside the building even on rainy days. The college does not have any plan to designate smoking areas. The College of Engineering has a smoking area with ashtrays in the passage between the two buildings but it has failed to stop nonsmokers from filing complaints.
To better the campus environment, each college has designated smoking areas on their own but both students and colleges need to double their efforts. A student asserted, “We need to avoid unconditionally criticizing smokers. Since smoking is a kind of personal preference, each college is required to secure a welfare budget to defuse a conflict between smokers and nonsmokers on campus.” Another student said, “Admitting their personal preferences, students must meet the standards set by their community. Each college must not neglect the management of smoking areas but try to improve the campus environment by installing smoking areas for the benefit of smokers and nonsmokers.”