Student anger at college smokers flouting ban

A student at North Herts College has called for a complete smoking ban on its four campuses, claiming smokers flout the rules by lighting up in areas where it is banned.

Matthew Manger, who is in the first year of a BTEC IT diploma at the Stevenage site, proposed the ban at a student union meeting last week, but the motion was defeated.

“I went to the student parliament but it was put down,” he said. “I was the only one speaking for it. They lowered the time given to speak about it - the committee had already made their minds up.

“They’ve got policies in place to promote a healthy lifestyle, how can smoking fit in with that? Every student and member of the college should be allowed to have access without always having to walk through clouds of smoke.

“I’d be happy if they just stayed using the smoking areas. But they don’t.”

College student president Jack Tomlinson said students were given the opportunity to argue for and against the proposal at the forum but voted it down.

“The students decided to vote against this motion as it was presented but agreed that the students’ union should actively work to promote and encourage the use of the smoking shelters already provided. Parliament also acknowledged that there needed to be action taken to increase the capacity of the smoking shelters.

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“We strongly encourage students to exercise their democratic right to bring their issues to the parliament floor and hope that we can continue to provide and improve this platform for student voice.”

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