New signs, no enforcement: Hofstra smoking ban in limbo

Smoking ban sign on academic side of Hofstra University

Hofstra University has banned smoking on the south campus but smokers say there’s no enforcement of the ban.

“What is going to happen if I smoke a cigarette?” asked Karl Galvan, a senior film major. “I’ve called public safety numerous times saying ‘hey what are my consequences for smoking?’ They couldn’t even tell me. The department head couldn’t even tell me my consequences for smoking.”

The University has posted signs around campus in an effort to stop smoking, but there is no specific action to enforce the ban.

“We are not going to remind people that there is no smoking on south campus… we are not enforcing the rules and regulations,” said John O’Malley associate director of public safety.  “At the moment the only way we could do that would be to issue notices to appear to students, and faculty and staff do not have any repercussions.”

Smoking ban sign on academic side of Hofstra University

Smoking ban sign on academic side of Hofstra University

Some students said they were unprepared for the ban even though the University sent out several emails.

“I think it’s unnecessary and they didn’t warn anyone about it,” said Kaitlyn Edwards, sophomore psychology major.

Regardless of student government’s initiative, public safety has admitted there is no official way to stop students from smoking .

“The provost feels this will be self-enforced over a period of time,” said O’Malley.  “People will just accept the fact that it’s the law of the land now.”

Hofstra sophomore Justin Blanchard

Hofstra sophomore Justin Blanchard

A Student Government Association (SGA) representative is in favor of the ban having worked hard to implement it through the club.

“It took a month or two to get to University senate and to the provost and finally to the campus,” said Ortal Weinberg, SGA senate member of her efforts to rid the campus of smoking. “It’s really good to have one side of campus smoke free.”

However, not everyone is in agreement about this…

Smoking ban sign on academic side of Hofstra University

The ban originated because smokers were ignoring earlier rules on smoking on campus.

“Part of the problem was… the university had implemented a rule a couple of years ago to stay 20 feet away from the doors of the buildings and people just kept violating that rule which is not right,” said O’Malley.

“There is no way that this is not seen as fascism,” said Galvan. “No one is being affected by my smoking except for me whatsoever.”

“I’m not taking it seriously whatsoever,” he said.