Compass News

Navigating News on the Ammerman Campus Since 1962

Compass News

Compass News

Once, Twice, Three Times, Maybe?

Public safety warns smokers, but rarely reports them, as students differ on the need for a non-smoking policy.
Man+sitting+on+staircase+vaping Donald
Man sitting on staircase vaping

Suffolk is a non-smoking campus, but to what degree the policy is enforced is another question.

“When a Campus Public Safety Officer encounters someone vaping on campus, the officer instructs the individual on the college’s smoking/vaping policy and requests they put the device away,” Phillip Sandusky, assistant director of public safety, said in an email.“As long as the individual complies, no report is generated.”

He added that he was “unable to provide a specific number” of vaping complaints on Ammerman.

While most students comply with the policy, there have been instances where vaping caused a problem on campus. Sandusky confirmed that in 2022, the fire alarm was set off 15 times due to a person on campus vaping indoors.

Student: Keep the non-smoking rule ‘as-is’

Emily Ruland is a liberal arts and sciences major in her second semester from Mastic. “I know the dangers that it comes with, it’s just as bad as smoking,” she said.

Ruland confirmed that she has friends who vape, but does not participate in the act. “I see a few people, but I’d assume people are good enough to follow the rules.” She said Ammerman’s no-smoking policy is good for the environment and reduces health risk for those who attend the campus.

“I do not think students should be vaping on campus,” she said. “I think it’s best to keep that rule as-is.”

Dozens of studies on vaping have concluded that its usage can lead to things such as nicotine addiction, lung scarring, lung damage, and more.

James Melanson, a computer science major from Wading River in his fourth semester, did not have a positive opinion about vaping, either. “I think it’s kind of stupid. It doesn’t take much to hear about all the terrible things it does to you.”

Melanson claimed that he can often smell what he believes to be vape smoke around campus throughout the day. “There’s as much of a problem with vaping as there was a problem with smoking.”

There are students unlike Melanson and Ruland, however, who do vape on campus.

Vaper who smokes on campus: ‘I don’t think it’s that big of an issue’

An 18-year-old business administration major who admitted to regularly vaping on campus said they believe vaping should be allowed outside buildings on campus.

“If you’re not blowing crazy smoke all over the place and not disturbing people, I don’t think it’s too much of an issue,” said the source, who started vaping at 13 and asked not to be named to avoid recrimination.

The student believes vaping’s popularity comes from people trying to fit in. They said this is why they started vaping, and believe they are currently addicted to it.

If the campus’ no-vaping policy was enforced more, to the point where vaping would lead to a bigger punishment, the student said, “I’m not to the point where I have to do it every second, I would just do it at home.”

In the meantime, vaping continues on campus.

“People think it’s cool, it’s fun, it tastes better than cigarettes so it’s better,” Ruland said. “It’s not smoking, cause smoking causes cancer, but we don’t know the effects of vaping whatsoever because it hasn’t been around long enough.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Michael Melecio
Michael Melecio, Student Life Editor
Michael Melecio is a 19-year-old double major in journalism and English from Mastic and the Student Life Editor for Compass News.

Comments (0)

All Compass News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *