As of January 1, 2008, Bergen Community College's 167-acre Paramus campus will be smoke-free. Previously, the College did not permit smoking within 50 feet of academic and administrative buildings. According to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, Bergen remains one of approximately 100 colleges nationwide that have banned smoking across campus property. Sentiment for a smokeless campus grew last spring after students surveyed their peers to gauge public opinion about banning smoking on campus. After finding favorable responses to abolishing smoking, a group of students appeared before the College's Board of Trustees and requested the College become smoke-free. The Board voted to approve a campus-wide smoking ban at its October 2007 meeting.
Bergen Community College President G. Jeremiah Ryan fully supports the policy.
"This was an effort championed by our students," President G. Jeremiah Ryan said. "A majority supported making our campus smoke-free, as did the majority of our staff. The benefits of a smokeless campus are obvious, given the various health problems associated with smoking. We are pleased to be at the forefront of this trend and I am proud of our students for having the prudence to recommend this policy."
Bergen's no-smoking policy spans all campus property, including academic and administrative buildings, common areas and parking lots. The College's Department of Public Safety officers will enforce the ban by warning first-time violators and keeping a list of offenders' names. Should a violator - including students, faculty and administrators - be caught breaking the policy again, he or she will be subject to disciplinary action.
To assist smokers in kicking the habit, the College has offered smoking cessation classes in the months leading up to the full ban.
About Bergen Community College
Bergen Community College is a public two-year coeducational college, enrolling more than 15,000 students in Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degree programs, and certificate programs. More than 10,000 students are enrolled in non-credit, professional courses through the Division of Continuing Education, the Institute for Learning in Retirement, and the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center, located at 355 Main Street, Hackensack. Information about the College is available at http://www.bergen.edu or by phoning the Welcome Center at 201-447-7200.