Smoking ban draws out stricter rules

IUS Horizon

A new Indiana law was introduced this summer that will have consequences on smokers at IU Southeast. Effective as of July 1, this law bans smoking within eight feet of any public building.

Individuals who are caught smoking within eight feet of a public building on campus, such as Knobview or Crestview, will be cited for an infraction.

“The fee won’t be toward the university because it is a state law,” Charlie Edelen, IUS Police chief, said. “If we do cite somebody for that, they’d be going to Floyd County and paying a fee.”

However, outside the eight feet, IU Southeast still maintains a policy against smoking on campus. According to the university policy, the only place a person can smoke is inside their car with the windows rolled up.

“I think we even had a question of does that include motorcycles,” Edelen said. “It does not. You have to actually be in your car.”

If a person violates the policy, they will have to see the Dean of Students or vice chancellor of Student Affairs. Anne Skuce, interim vice chancellor of Student Affairs, said she does not expect to see a lot of negative reaction to this change.

“I think it is going to be tough because students will be cited,” Skuce said. “I do feel like we were fortunate to already have a policy in place, and I think as long as faculty, staff and students abide to it then it shouldn’t make any difference.”

Edelen also said he does not foresee any problems arising from this ban because the only change is, instead of it being a university violation, it is now a state law, as well.

“I’m sure it will take people a while to get used to that, but it’s only eight feet,” Edelen said. “Since  we already had a university policy saying you can’t smoke, I don’t think it will be that big of a deal because you weren’t supposed to be doing it anyway.”

On top of receiving a citation for smoking within the eight feet, Skuce said individuals will still have to see administration.

“I respect students’ right to smoke, but we just have to limit the location,” Skuce said.

Since the law has only been in effect for a short amount of time, Edelen said they are willing to give out warnings in the beginning.
“Honestly, when I’ve seen people smoking on campus, they haven’t been within the eight feet,” Edelen said. “Usually, they’re out by the picnic tables or the parking lot.”

IU Southeast will also be placing stickers on each door stating the new law and describing the details of the ban.

Parking

Beginning this school year, changes in citation fees and costs will be occurring in the IUS parking policy.

The main changes involve issues of a invalid permit or improper display of a valid permit, which were both raised from $10 to $15.

The charge for an expired parking meter also increased from $5 to $10.

However, Edelen said students who receive a citation but have a valid permit may, on an appeal, fill out a form once every calendar year in order to waive the fee.

“A lot of the appeals we get are ‘I left it in my car,’ or ‘I left it in my other car, but I have a valid permit,’ and people don’t understand why it has to be displayed, so we’re trying to give them a free one,” Edelen said.

IU Southeast will be notifying students of the new parking policy through its website and a booklet with a page describing it.

Edelen said this is also an effort to encourage individuals to buy parking permits.

“I know we’ve got some students who want to go along and do the day pass or not do anything and take a gamble that they won’t get a citation, so increasing the citations would help people get away from doing that,” Edelen said. “We’d like everyone to have the permit so we don’t have to write as many tickets.”

While it may be cheaper for students who attend only a few classes a week to purchase the day passes, Edelen said there are more negatives to not having a parking permit.

“[With the day passes,] you have the hassles of waiting in line, making sure your dollar isn’t crumpled up, sometimes it’s raining and sometimes it jams,” Edelen said. “Also, people don’t realize the pass is assigned to you and not to your car, so you can move it between cars.”

Student parking permits cost $30 per semester and can be purchased at the IUS Police Department located in University Center North, room 027.

Thefts

IUS Police have been occupied with several theft reports that arose in the spring semester, during the second week of April.

Five individuals claimed to have items stolen, including a wallet on April 11 and a phone on April 12. Both of those items were returned later those days.

However, the suspect of two other thefts from April 10 was caught and involved Brian Dillen, 40, who was arrested on a charge of three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and one count of theft.  All of the counts were felonies.

The items stolen from IU Southeast included a wallet and a camera from the University Center.

Prior to IU Southeast, Dillen had also stolen items from both Jefferson Community and Technical College and Spalding University.

“What these guys do is walk around and try to find just anything lying around,” Edelen said. “They’re just walking through, and they see a bag, they pick it up and walk out. They’re getting laptops, wallets, cameras and whatever is sitting out.”

The final theft occurred on April 6, involving a stolen wallet and credit cards, has not been found, and the case is still open.

By CLAIRE MUNN

Senior Editor

clamunn@umail.iu.edu