Panama City -- The college’s Board of Trustees surveyed students and faculty earlier this year before voting to make the campus smoke free, but some 300 students have now signed a petition asking the Board to reconsider the decision.
Hundreds of students have an opinion on the upcoming smoking ban at Gulf Coast State College.
“I walk between classes and there’s nowhere I can go without walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke” said Dustin Moye, student who’s for the smoking ban.
“There should be a designated area for students instead of just taking away your rights like that” said Raion Moye, student who’s against the smoking ban.
“It’s really hard to breathe when you go out of your classroom and you have 50 people lighting a cigarette up” said Tabitha York, student for smoking ban.
“Students who are against it are going about it the wrong way, what they need to do is to get them to implement a designated smoking area” said Brinna Fisher, student against ban.
For years college administrators have been toying with how to deal with smoking on campus. Some of those ideas included designated smoking areas and encouraging proper disposal of cigarette butts.
Gulf Coast State’s Board of Trustees voted in September to implement the smoking ban. College President Dr. Jim Kerley says the college is just following the lead of other college campuses.
“It’s a trend that colleges across the country are starting to do this. There is some 466 colleges and universities that are smoke free” said Jim Kerley, Gulf Coast State College President.
The growing opposition has caused the student body president to reconsider his options on the matter.
“I have an option to reopen the survey and figure out what the students now need because right now, it’s not going well there are a lot of angry students on both sides” said Chaz Mullinax, Student Body President.
As it stands now, the smoking ban would apply to all areas of the campus, except in personal vehicles. The ban is effective January 2012.