SGA asks students to smoke across street as snow piled up Tuesday

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“Take Your Butts across the Street” SGA’s new campaign that asks students to move their smoking to the designated smoking area across the street from the Sawyer building.

“This isn’t a smoking cessation campaign,” said Billy Cerullo, president of SGA, “we just want to ask students to move and be considerate to non-smokers trying to get into Sawyer.”

The campaign began in the Sawyer lobby Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. SGA personnel gathered with flyers and lollipops to give to students smoking in front of the business school, a popular spot to light up. The snow did not make this an easy task for SGA, as there was a lack of smokers. But when a student did smoke outside, they approached the person.

“We’re planning an initiative to get students to move across the street from Sawyer,” was their conversation starter and with the added bonus of candy, students were very agreeable to move.

(Photo by Will Senar)

Their first “victim” was Mert Olziner. He got the candy, put his cigarette out, and went inside Sawyer feeling okay with the SGA’s campaign.

SGA has been planning the campaign for years, as the issue of smoking in front of the Sawyer building has been brought up consistently. However, they just now took the initiative to go in front of Sawyer and ask students to move.

“It’s important to raise awareness around the smoking issues because the area is for everyone,” said Angelica Pellegrino, a work-study student for SGA.

With Boston and Suffolk police departments unable to help, SGA understands that they cannot monitor the entrance to Sawyer every day. They want to be able to hold the event every week to inform smokers of their request, and they expect students to cooperate since they are not being asked to stop smoking altogether.

“We have to respect non-smokers and just move. It’s no big deal, if you want to get sick under the snow go ahead and I want to get sick so it’s okay,” Mario Khoury said jokingly.

There is always a crowd of people smoking near the entrance and it is hard for students who are non-smokers to get through it.

Despite the timing of their initiative, SGA has not organized the event because of Boston’s recent ban on smoking in public parks.

SGA has also planned to use flyers and maybe even posters to consistently inform students to move their smoking elsewhere for the times that they cannot enforce their requests.

“It is a problem and getting through it in the a.m. and everyone is in the way,” said Brianna Silva, a senator for the Class of 2017. “People need to be courteous.”

SGA believes the winter is a great time to start the initiative since it gives them time to inform people of their campaign before the spring when people are sure to be more inclined to crowd the sidewalks and smoke.

The first day of their campaign was a relative success thanks to the cooperation from smokers and their willingness to respect the feelings of non-smokers, citing the snow as a reason why they would choose to smoke under the covers of Sawyer for now.

“We think it won’t be too much of a problem even when the weather isn’t nice because there is an enclosed space across Sawyer and I think they are respectful to non-smokers anyway,” Cerullo said.

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