From John M. Connolly, Acting President
Last spring, the College Council on Community Policy (CCCP) forwarded to President Simmons its recommendation to prohibit smoking in student residences. President Simmons circulated the report of the committee to all members of the Smith community in May 2001 and called for responses.
I have now reviewed the report and the responses, and I have consulted with senior staff about changing college policy with regard to smoking in the residences. Taking this advice into consideration, I have decided to support the recommendations of the CCCP ad hoc Committee on Smoking in the Residences and call for an end to smoking in the houses, effective August 19, 2002. The report makes a compelling case for the dangers of secondary smoke for nonsmoking students, the risk of fire in our residences, and the difficulty in ensuring the health and safety of college workers due to exposure to smoke. Although the individual's right to smoke in her private accommodation is important, it is outweighed by the need to assure all students of a healthy and safe living situation. Our houses are not constructed to ensure that secondhand smoke does not permeate the living space of those who do not wish to be exposed to it or whose health is compromised by it. In taking this step, Smith will join a growing number of similar colleges and universities.
I understand that this decision will present a hardship for some students. Health Services has agreed to expand educational programming about smoking and will continue to offer programs for those trying to quit smoking.
I would like to thank the College Council on Community Policy, and particularly its ad hoc Committee on Smoking in the Residences, for the thoughtful work and the highly consultative process that brought them to their recommendation.
October 4, 2001