College board deadlocks on smoking ban

December 09, 1992|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel Community College students may not have to walk a mile for their Camel, but they may have to go at least 50 feet from the main entrance of any campus building to smoke it.

The Anne Arundel Community College board of trustees is considering revisions to the college's smoking policy that would prohibit smoking in all campus buildings and within 50 feet of main entrances, effective Feb. 1.

Last night, the trustees deadlocked 3-3 on a vote to approve the changes. As a result, the board agreed to delay final action until next month when its seventh member -- Chairman Robert DiAiso -- can be present to vote on the proposal. Mr. DiAiso was ill and unable to attend last night's meeting.

The college adopted a smoking policy in 1988 that limited smoking to private offices and designated smoking areas. But at the recent urging of several campus groups, the board appointed a committee to review the policy.

The committee of teachers, staff members and students conducted several public hearings and reviewed the smoking policies at other schools before recommending that smoking be banned from all of the college's buildings. The committee also recommended that the college expand its smoking education program and build kiosks at least 50 feet from buildings where students could smoke.

Two of the nine committee members issued a dissenting report, saying that some other members were biased, that the panel had insufficient time to research the revisions and that the intentions of the majority supporting a complete ban were not sufficiently publicized.

The Student Government Association is not endorsing the ban and says more study is needed.

The college's Academic Forum, the academic governing organization, and the college's administration support the smoking ban.

Vice President Edgar Mallick denied that the administration had rushed to ban all smoking. "The majority of people who have communicated with me do not want smoking in any of the buildings," he said.

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