Fall 2018 just kicked off at College of the Desert (COD). The school is not only welcoming incoming freshmen, it is also introducing a policy where all smoking, vaping, and all tobacco and cannabis products are banned.
The conversation about making all campuses smoke free started earlier this year.
Arturo Delgado is the president of Associated Students of College of the Desert, and one of the proponents of making campuses across the Coachella Valley smoke free.
“The associated student government, we sent a survey to all students through email that way they could input on whether they wanted it,” Delgado said. “The great majority of them wanted a smoke free campus, and that’s what lead us to change the board policy.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for College of the Desert said that at the request of the students push for the initiative “the Board of Trustees in July adopted a policy making College of the Desert a smoke- and tobacco-free college.”
Alexis Gonzalez is a freshman in a pre-nursing track at COD, and he said he is happy that his school is making this change.
“I think it’s a major step that COD is finally have a smoke free environment because a better environment for us as students also means improvements in the classrooms,” Gonzalez said.
For many students, community college is a transitioning point for those who hope to transfer to a 4-year university. That is the case for Annie Hollins, a freshman studying psychology, who thinks it is better to keep substances away from campus.
“I think most colleges should be a smoke free zone especially community ones because you come here to learn and to study, get your credits, to graduate,” she said.
The only times smoking will be allowed on campus will be during approved theatrical performances or rehearsals where smoking is determined to be an integral part of these activities.
College of the Desert is in a period of transition as they switch over to being a smoke free campus. As of today, there are no any smoking areas on campus anymore. If students are seen smoking, they will be reminded that COD is now a smoke free campus.
Dalilah Rodriguez is an incoming freshman studying finance. While she thinks having a smoke free campus is a positive change, she still has some reservations.
“I think it is a good idea, but at the same time I don’t think it should be the school’s responsibility to stop kids from smoking,” she said. “It should be the student’s responsibility to smoke and if they want to they should be allowed to.”
According to COD, “students have been notified of the new policy via emails and literature. They have also been provided helpful information about how to quit smoking.”
The no smoking policy applies to all activities taking place on all campuses including the weekend street fair that takes place at the Palm Desert campus.