By Kristine Felva P. Licup
With the alleged increase in smoking incidents inside the campus, students wonder if Silliman University’s no-smoking policy is still being implemented six years after it was launched.
Eye witnesses report
Darrell Bryan Rosales, Student Government Socio-cultural Committee head, said he usually sees students smoke in front of the university gates during afternoon without any sign of fear that they might be caught.
He added that this is perhaps because even if security guards, who are supposed to be representations of authority inside the campus, see anyone smoke within the premises, they do nothing but watch the violators.
Senior management student Joseph Simon Ramon said he often sees students smoke at kiosks near Oriental and Ausejo Hall.
Also, Honey Grace Suello, junior mass communication student, said she saw students smoking near Doltz Hall.
But the case is not limited to students only.
A student who requested anonymity said she once saw a teacher smoking at the back of the College of Performing and Visual Arts Hall 1. Rosales also said he saw a teacher smoke while walking his dogs on the sidewalk near the College of Business Administration.
“Sometimes he smokes in the presence of other faculty members and they are not doing anything to stop him, acting as if nothing is happening,” he said.
In school year 2007-2008, the university launched a no-smoking policy seeking to penalize anyone who smokes inside campus premises.
In an article entitled, “HR : Report smoking teachers” published on the the Weekly Sillimanian Oct. 1, 2012 issue, Atty. Fe Marie Tagle, SU Human Resource Department manager, said the policy mainly seeks to discipline “employees caught smoking in public spaces and facilities of the Silliman University campus.” She said this is because employees are “role models that have a duty of upholding university rules.”
“How can they expect compliance from the students when they, the role models themselves, do not comply with the policies?” Tagle added.
Furthermore, Dumaguete City launched last Sept. 1, 2012 Ordinance No. 94 or the Smoke-free Ordinance, whose main goal is to prohibit smoking in public areas all over the city.
Ramon said that the issue on smoking has gotten worse not because of ignorance but because of the lack of implementation. “I think most of those who smoke in the campus know about the school’s policy. Once, I overheard one of them saying while they were smoking, “Ay okay rana, wala’y mu buyag. (That’s okay. Nobody is going to reprimand us.)”
Tagle said anyone, i.e. student or not, who sees an employee of the university smoking inside the campus should immediately report the violation to any authority such as the security guards.
Furthermore, the complainant can ask for a statement from a third person who has seen the violation or bring any acceptable proofs like pictures taken by the complainant and send them to the offender’s dean or unit head.