Kim Dong-Guk, a Dongguk University(DGU) student, is angry every time when he enters Dongguk Hall, because many students are smoking in the narrow entrance even in a non-smoking area. He couldn't avoid tobacco smoke whenever he enters the building. Recently many DGU students find themselves in a similar situation frequently. For example, there are a lot of cigarettes ashes and cigarette smoke in the washrooms at all the DGU buildings even though they are designated as non-smoking areas by school. This situation must change. The reason for making the change is because it makes the campus look dirty, and also harms other students. In fact, the harmful effects of secondhand smoking are well known by most people. So, The Post searched for a solution about DGU's smoking issues.
First of all, all buildings are designated non-smoking areas by school as in the entrance areas in front of the Mun-wha Building, the Dong-Guk Building and Man-hae Hall. DGU plans to broaden non-smoking areas. A staff member of DGU says that "We don't want to punish students who smoke in non-smoking areas, instead we advertize our non-smoking policy. This naturally makes the students quit smoking in non-smoking areas."
DGU's Health Center also wants to solve this problem. They began a Smoking-Clinic Campaign last year. It can change the attitude of many smokers toward smoking, helping to minimize the complaints from non-smokers. The chief of the DGU Health Center says that "Participation in this campaign is increasing more and more, with many student smokers learning about the serious damage for themselves and other students through this campaign. So smokers will change their smoking habits or stop smoking completely after this campaign." But she says that they can't help all the students, because of a shortage of staff at DGU Health Center.
Most of the students have a positive attitude towards the DGU policy. A student says that smoking on campus is harmful for other students, so DGU should continue to restricting smoking on Campus. But many smokers are opposed to this policy. A student who refused to identify himself says that smokers care about other students, but the school thinks only about non-smokers. For example, there are no smoking areas at DGU buildings. Smokers have a different attitude towards this policy, so The Post searched for other solution to solve this problem.
Universities in Korea.
University in Korea make smoking-areas with glass enclosures. Some universities actively notify smokers that some areas are reserved for them. In the case of Hankook University of Foreign Studies, it made a smoking-area on the roof of the library. This policy is appreciated, and successfully reduces students' complaint from both smokers and non-smokers.
There are also some universities that solve this problem indirectly by changing students' attitudes towards smoking. Kon-Kuk University(KU) has a 'Written Promise' policy for freshman students to quit smoking. Korea University at Se-Jong Campus has a non-smoking campaign which begins with new students in March, 2008. At Han-Yang University, they have a strict policy towards smoking. If a student smokes in a non-smoking area, for example, in a washroom, he is reported to the college office.
Foreign Universities and other movements
In the case of Northern State University(NSU) in America, all buildings in university are designated as non-smoking areas by school. It fines to students who smoke in non-smoking areas. It can also expel students who often smoke in non-smoking areas. Pennysylvania State University has stricter attitudes for smoking. All areas at university are designated non-smoking areas by school.
Besides these, many movements or policies have been made. For example, you can find separate areas at restaurants, smoking-areas in office-building, and bus stops designated non-smoking areas by Seoul City, and so on.
The above solutions aren't always the best ones. Some students are against creating non-smoking areas in school buildings. They say this will decrease the number of classrooms or rest rooms available. In the case of KU, their policy is not perfect, because they can not confirm whether students actually quit smoking as they promised. Also at Pennysylvania State University, many smokers demonstrate against the school stating that non-smokers have been ignored. However, the polices by these universities can help change students' attitude towards smoking, but no matter how good the solutions are, if student don't follow them, they are useless. But if students join this movement actively, the effectiveness of this movement will improve. For example, a student who attends KU says "Of course, the system is not perfect, but many students have changed their attitudes towards smoking. Now most smokers are more careful in selecting smoking areas and also in the whole general issues of environment than before.
This change is very important. So Yeong-sik, a staff of non-smoking university student campaign, says "Movement and polices for non-smoking must focus on changing students' attitude toward smoking. For example, if this movement spreads more and more widely, many people will join this movement. Consequently smokers naturally change their smoking habits by themselves. It has more impact to them than any other polices. In terms of this, it is good-side that participants of this movement increase more than before. "
Once again, smoking in non-smoking areas and the problem of second-hand smoke on campus must change. DGU must adopt more effective policies by considering the good points of the policies developed by other universities. Students, both smokers and non-smokers, must support the university's policies, without which the smoking issues cannot be solved. The school and students must continue working together. This will make the university cleaner and a healthier environment for the DGU students.
Kim Ji-heon firstname.lastname@example.org
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