Campus smoking ban pushes students into nearby neighborhood

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MUNCIE – The campus-wide smoking ban at Ball State University has some unintended consequences.

Since the ban went into effect Aug. 1, people have been smoking in a nearby neighborhood. Smokers are gathering by some homes on Petty Street and residents are not happy.

“I don’t think anyone is being a jerk about it, we’re just looking for a solution,” said Rex Miller with the Westridge Neighborhood Association.

Miller is also concerned about the traffic on Petty Street. He’s worried because students are crowding the already narrow street, and he’s concerned someone could get hurt. Miller said he has been worried about students on Petty Street for years, but the smoking ban is making the problem worse.

“There have been times I’ve come by here and counted 16 people here and the traffic, I mean this is one of the major gateways from the west into the campus,” said Miller.

A university spokesperson said Ball State’s primary concern is student safety. The neighborhood association has drafted a letter to send to the board of trustees.

Police have ticketed three students for littering. Officers have also received complaints about students standing in the road, trespassing and being loud.

“I think they had good intentions trying to ban smoking sections, but when push comes to shove it just kind of fell apart,” said student Ellen Lee.