December 1, 2020

Marletto’s to implement smoking ban on patio

By Katelyn Gosik and Megan Favignano

The Administrative Council approved a policy which will make the patio outside of Marletto’s Marketplace smoke-free during hours of operation.

Juan Salas, music education major, agrees with the smoking ban. The issue of smoking areas was discussed last spring in response to Salas’ outdoor furniture presentation at the Residential Housing Association (RHA) event, “House Your Ideas.”

“I think it’s a good measure. Smoking comes with the responsibility of being conscious of the people that are around you,” said Salas. “It’s almost a civil duty for smokers to not bother those who aren’t smoking.”

The administration and Marletto’s will carry out this policy and inform students of the changes. They will implement the policy after they receive “no-smoking” signs for the patio tables. The signs are said to appear later this semester or next semester.

“We are working on the implementation,” said Ted Hoef, associate vice president and dean of students. “One part of that is getting signs made and getting the physical things we need in place to be able to have the changes in effect.”

Hoef met with members of the dining and housing staff over the summer. They discussed complaints they heard about Marletto’s being too crowded, but people not wanting to use the patio because of the smoke.

“The crowding and the smoking issue go hand in hand,” Hoef said. “(If Marletto’s is full) you go out and sit on the patio but yet you don’t want to be around smoke, it’s a problem.”

Brad Woodroffe, dining service manager, said Marletto’s didn’t receive complaints about smokers on the patio.

According to the student handbook, all campus buildings are smoke free. Smoking is permitted within 30 feet of building entrances.

“I think institutions should implement measures for people who do smoke,” Salas said. “They need to provide space for people who want to smoke.”

The side opposite of the patio between Marletto’s and Webster Hall allows smoking. With the new policy, the patio at Marletto’s will allow smoking after they close.

Hoef said they looked at the St. Louis County ordinance regarding smoking at restaurants. He said there legally isn’t a place to smoke on the patio because the law requires people to smoke 15 feet from the entrance.

Hoef and members of the dining and housing staff also discussed the all-you-can-eat meal option. The talked of the possibility that students can walk up and get food even when they haven’t paid.

Hoef and the dining and housing staff made two new policies. One regards smoking and one regards checking receipts before students pick up more food.

Eventually, everyone will be required to present a receipt when returning for food. Marletto’s plans to hire a part-time employee to check the receipts of students returning for food.

“We are making an adjustment to how the receipts are printed and Brad Woodroffe, general manager for Campus Dining, is working on getting the stanchions in place,” Hoef said. “Once those two things are in place, we will put out notice about the implementation of both changes at Marletto’s.”

These two policies will be implemented at the same time.

In September, administration discussed the changes with the Student Government Association (SGA), the Dining Advisory Board and RHA. Hoef received feedback from all three entities before taking the policies to the Administrative Council. The council approved the policies just before fall break.

David McDonald has been a member of the Dining Advisory Board since last fall. He was present for the meeting regarding the rule changes at Marletto’s and believes smoking on the patio brought a bad image to Webster.

“If you want to eat outside, you have to deal with smokers and the smell. It causes health concerns and legality concerns and its just not pleaseant,” McDonald said. “People are going in and out of that door on the patio and it gets into the building. Smokers have the right to smoke but as a non-smoker I have rights too.”

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