Otero Junior College has a wide range of employees, teachers, and students, including international students who come from as far away as Malta, an island off the coast of Italy.
In some of those countries, smoking is still prevalent, but evidently not so much among young people who live in this area.
President Tim Alvarez of Otero Junior College said, “The no smoking rule has been in effect since the end of summer last year. We are just now reminding everyone with signs on campus. Smokers cannot be on the property of the college, even across the street; anything that is associated with the school. It is the same in all government buildings. We are getting rid of smoking receptacles. This is not meant to shame smokers. We are going about it in a positive manner. It is not a value judgement on our part. Help is available to staff and faculty if they need it.”
Carlos Aragon, who is on the maintenance staff, said, “I have not seen too many smokers, hardly ever. I can’t remember seeing people smoking around here, not even in the parking lots or nothing. Nobody in the maintenance shop, not even cigarettes, not even visitors.”
Kimmi Kelley, English faculty, said she had seen a couple of students smoking. Her main concern was, “Are they going across the street and leaving their butts in people’s gutters?”
Edward Maez, a student, said that he is a smoker. What does he do? “I leave to the park or to friends away from school — no time for that here.”
Ezekiel Contrares said, “I smoke in the afternoon, when I go back home.”
Sophie Abela, an international student from Malta, does not smoke. “I am here on a basketball scholarship. I don’t know what a smoker would do, since I am not a smoker myself.”
Jessica Lynch, from New Mexico, has a couple of friends who smoke, but doesn’t know how they handle the no smoking rule.