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New Rules Promote Healthier Lifestyle On Campus at Auburn University
As Auburn University students enter the first day of classes, the university is taking major steps to become a healthier campus.
Auburn is moving from a campus where people can smoke right outside the door to asking smokers to move 25-feet away from buildings.
“So if we can push those smokers back just a little bit and people can kind of walk to and from the buildings without walking through a cloud of smoke, that's probably a good thing,” said Eric Smith, Director of Auburn University’s Health Promotions and Wellness Services.
Smith says the smoking ban was a student led initiative carried out by Auburn, and many students are happy about the changes.
“I don't really like the second hand smoke getting to me whenever I am around buildings,” said Courtney Pruitt, a sophomore nursing student. “Adding 25-feet away, it just kind of lets it breathe. It doesn't really stick to people, and I think it's a really good rule.”
But many smokers on campus believe the new policy is unnecessary.
“I feel like the way they had it earlier is just fine,” said Zachary Thompson, a freshman engineering student.
Thompson sat about 25-feet away from Auburn’s student center smoking a cigarette Thursday afternoon. He says even though he may not like the policy, he doesn’t want to get in trouble.
“I have a few friends that smoke and they seem very upset about it, but its [Auburn’s] college it's their rules, so you just have to do what they tell you,” Thompson said.
But smokers aren't the only group seeing changes this semester, so are bicyclists. Auburn is making a big push requiring all students, staff and faculty with a bike on campus to register it for free with Parking Services.
Many students on campus say they have not, and will not register their bike. “You can find a bike rack or you can tie it to a tree, I mean there's plenty of places to put a bike,” said Ben Laws, a freshman professional flight student. “It’s not as much of a hassle [compared to] having to register it.”
Over the summer, Auburn nearly doubled its bike slots, offering more than 800 spaces for bicyclists to park their bikes. Smith says he hopes the smoking and bike policies encourage a pedestrian friendly and healthy environment.
Auburn is not speculating if their 25-foot smoking ban will expand to a smoke free campus, but the university is in line with other colleges trying to promote the same lifestyle.
Students say the new rules fall short because they don’t have stiff penalties. People caught smoking less than 25-feet away from buildings will be handled on a case-by-case basis. As for bikers without registration, if Auburn has to move a bike, the owner will pay $10 to get it out of university impound.