Campus Exposed: Heard it Through the Grapevine

tobacco_freeBy Erik Squire

Hey-ho campus-ers, things are wrapping up for the semester; hopefully you’ve had a smooth ride and gained a few more friends (except for Tom; nobody likes you Tom). As we come to a close we can at least look forward to some new changes on campus over the coming semesters. We at the Beacon sat in on a few meetings with the College Council, Student Senate, and the Student Welfare and Retention Committees (both faculty and student versions). We picked up a few bits of interesting information to pass on to our favorite people: you.

The Maine Community College System will be implementing a tobacco ban on all the community colleges across the state. The extensiveness of the ban is still not yet certain; it may only prohibit smoking, but could ban as much as chewing tobacco and E-cigarettes, (this is to be determined). What we do know for certain is that it will be a difficult policy for some to roll with. That being said, President Cantor is putting together a task force to make this transition as smooth as possible. On top of this effort, the Student Welfare committee is also looking into providing cessation services on campus to help students who want to break the habit. Perhaps the largest downside to this policy change is the loss of the smoking huts (which could be more aptly named social shacks). The huts will be turned into covered bike racks. Hopefully the loss of these huts won’t deter students from gathering and socializing. Coffee huts anyone?

On a high note, SMCC is working on updating its website. What’s even better, they are including students in on the web-development process. At a recent leadership meeting administration solicited the assistance of the Student Senate and asked them a very important question: “What’s cool?” The Student Senate would like to call on the student body to help answer that question and assist with the planning. Graphic designers, web designers, artists, advertisement specialists, and those interested are welcome to assist in the development of a better webpage! (Contact Shane Long at the CeSIL office)
Finally, the Campus Center is going to go under a little surgery to improve the advising area. Advising is an important service on campus but it often goes far too underutilized. Because of this, administration has decided to revamp the advising area into a place that is more open and inviting. They already have some plans for it, but they’re open to suggestions from students. Something that a number of students have already voiced their opinion on is that they would like the new advising area to have a balance between openness and privacy.

Some changes can be difficult to get used to at first, but often, change is necessary and can make things turn out for the better. We can all be thankful we’re attending a school that is proactive and willing to change the things that should be different or updated. To make true improvements we should all join in on the discussion of ideas and assist with the implementation as best we can.

Whether you’re graduating or coming back for a few more rounds, we at the Beacon wish you good luck and fine holy rolling. Until next semester, Campus Exposed over and out.

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