By Randy Schafer – Dunwoody Campus News Editor
Smoking on campuses has become a long debate for the GPC Smoking Committee and the student body.
“Since August or September of 2010, we’ve been deliberating on GPC being a smoke-free or smoking campus,” said former committee member Dean Ludeke. “We voted on the college having designated smoking areas, but the committee keeps reneging on the policy and re-voting.”
During the most recent Smoking Committee meeting, Ludeke recalls Newton Dean of Student Affairs and Smoking Committee Advisor Keith Cobbs advising them to make up their minds and stick to a recommendation.
Dunwoody Health and Wellness Coordinator, Brandi Meriwether, presented a proposal idea for the committee. Meriwether informed them that she was made aware of an opportunity offered to GPC by Dekalb County for a $15,000 grant, to become a tobacco-free college. The grant would focus on Dekalb County schools, but in return would make all GPC campuses smoke-free.
Clarkston Dean of Student Affairs, Debra Homer said, “I do know that Dr. Tricoli has stated that he does not wish for us to be a smoke-free college.”
During the Feb. 18 Smoking Committee meeting, they also deliberated on how to control and enforce the designated smoking areas on each campus, in addition to penalties for students smoking in non-designated areas.
Director of Public Safety Nicholas Marinelli, proposed possible punitive measures to the committee. Marinelli recommended verbal warnings for first and second offenses and a $30-$40 fine for third offense. Students will be sent to the campus’ Dean of Student Affairs for their fourth offense.
As of press time, GPC is still allowing smoking in designated areas and is currently deliberating on a new recommended proposal.