SSU students want expanded campus smoking ban

Sonoma State University landscaper Jose Aceves pointed Wednesday to Darwin Hall, where dozens of cigarette butts littered a bark moat.

It's Aceves' job to pick up the butts, which is why he wholeheartedly supports a ban on smoking in the open, central part of the sprawling campus.

"That'd be nice," he said. "That way I don't have to pick up the cigarette butts all the time."

The ban was approved by a unanimous resolution passed by the student senate earlier this year, but has yet to be implemented.

The school already prohibits smoking within 20 feet of a building or in doorways, breezeways or anywhere people congregate, SSU spokeswoman Susan Kashack said.

On Wednesday, the student senate formed an ad-hoc committee to work out the details extended ban, including the exact boundaries. SSU President Ruben Armi?na would have to approve it.

"We're looking to make it a blue paper policy on campus," said Alex Boyar, President of the Associated Students group. "That means it's a guideline on the campus and how something is supposed to be done, but it's not directly enforceable by law enforcement," he said.

In the area the ban is intended to cover, a long, grassy rectangle bordered by the library and Stevenson and Darwin halls, students on Thursday enthusiastically favored the idea.

"I think it's a good idea," said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, a fifth-year senior.

He gives smokers a wide berth and dislikes the trash they often discard. "Even though there's ashtrays, you see a lot of cigarette butts," he said.

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