The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

No more smoking in Cleveland

In Cleveland lounge, the omnipresent clouds of smoke and clusters of cigarette butts have vanished.

In an April 6 e-mail to Jamaland RLC Brenda Hunt and Dean of Students Travis Greene wrote that Cleveland Hall has been relatively smoke-free since Grinnell College Security and the Grinnell Police Department visited on Monday, March 30. As a result, security has scaled back its presence in Cleveland hall, according to the e-mail.

Cleveland was the sole dorm with a smoking lounge last year, a situation that was ended by the Iowa Clean Air Act.
Director of Security Stephen Briscoe confirmed decreased security presence. ”We’re just doing normal rounds now,” Briscoe said. “We’re not doing the special rounds to check that area [Cleveland].”

At a Jamaland hall council meeting, residents cited a lack of communication between the student body, security and Student Affairs as a source of some of the problems.

“As SAs, we felt we could have settled the issue from our level, using self-gov,” Cleveland third SA Kelly Musselman wrote in an e-mail to the S&B. “So basically we just asked that this never happen again … that SAs get consulted so we can do something about it on a student level .”

According to Hunt, the residents claimed to be unaware of some of the effects of smoking.

“People knew they couldn’t smoke in the building but they didn’t know it was harming people and that’s what they cared about most, at least that’s what was told to me by the students,” Hunt said.

By the time of the hall meeting, only four days after the police investigation, the smoking appeared to have ceased in Cleveland lounge.

“We told Brenda at the hall meeting that the smoking and property damage in Cleveland first lounge had stopped and therefore security should stop coming around,” Musselman wrote. “She noticed herself that the lounge was in obviously better condition than before, passed her knowledge on to Travis and Steven Briscoe.”

Briscoe expressed satisfaction with the residents’ response to the problems with smoking. “What I’m really happy with is that the residents seem to be taking responsibility,” Briscoe said.

According to Greene, the smoking created an unsafe working environment for custodial staff. “What happened is there is a [custodial] staff member who needed to be able to do his job and couldn’t do it because of all of the smoke and the health issues,” Greene said.

“I’m glad the issue is resolved and if it doesn’t continue, then there won’t be any need for further conversations about how are we [going to] deal with smoking in the lounge,” Greene said.

On March 30, after a call from Briscoe about a cigarette-sized burn in the Cleveland lounge rug. Grinnell Police Department Officers Mike Dickenson and David Menninga investigated the lounge and found a bag of marijuana.
Grinnell Police Department Captain Theresa Petersen discussed the police report in a phone interview with the S&B.
“It says the kids were smoking in lounge and burning the floors and leaving the cigarettes lying on the floors,” Peterson said. “I guess you could consider that arson.”

Petersen also cited a lack of cooperation from Cleveland Hall residents in the investigation to find the owner of the marijuana.

“It says that everybody there was uncooperative,” Petersen said. “They wouldn’t talk to them [the police], they would give them wrong names, that kind of stuff.”

The investigation into the owner of the bag of marijuana is still ongoing, according to Petersen.

Although smoking in the Cleveland Hall has diminished, Briscoe said that security would continue to be aware of other smoking issues on campus.

“Now across the campus, we’re making contact with people who are smoking in areas that are unauthorized,” Briscoe said. “And the reason why we’re doing that is so the state doesn’t come in.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *