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NORTH CAROLINA | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010 | VOLUME 36, EDITION 9
BRIAN ALLENBYI Staff Photographer
tf the smoking ban on campus passes, ashtrays like this one will be removed forcing students, faculty and staff to go off campus to light up.
Smoking survey ignites
discussion on campus
In an effort to better understand the habits of
smokers on Elon University’s campus, a group of
students in coordination with the Office of Substance
.\buse recently sent out a survey to students looking at
their knowledge and opinions of the current tobacco
The students who created the survey were leadership
fellows who worked with the office to look at the current
climate of tobacco on campus, part of which included
sending out the survey to students, said Coordinator
for Substance Education Lauren Martin.
Martin said another survey will be sent to faculty
and staff asking similar questions in the next few
The survey had a two fold effect, she said, by
attempting to educate the student body on the smoking
policy and to have a better picture of tobacco use on
“We wanted to see how aware the campus was,”
Martin said. “Do we need to do a better job of educating
the campus on what the policy is?”
She said she didn't think a lot of people on campus
are aware of the current policy, which she said is in
part because she doesn’t think many people on campus
According to the current policy, smoking is
prohibited inside buildings on campus, as well as
within 30 feet of all buildings.
Martin said every two years her office puts out a
survey to the student body to look at the climate of
substance use on campus, Ijut it looks very broadly at
tobacco use, not taking into account the various types
of tobacco available.
“On this survey, what we wanted to do was actually
break it down for students, because sometimes students
don't associate cigars or hookahs as tobacco ... to see
Lighthouse to be
audited in April
BRiAN ALLENBYI Staff Photographer
Freshman John Zurkulchlen smokes a cigar outside of Smith Residence Hall.
what students are using, if anything.”
To senior Matt Moroughan, though, the survey
represented a bias against the smoking population on
“They didn't really remain neutral in the wording
of the questions,” he said, citing a part of the survey
that asked if smokers could get behind a smoke-free
See SMOKING | PAGE 3
Elon University's Lighthouse Tavern is scheduled
to undergo a tax exempt audit in .April after the use of
alcohol at the facility and the property’s educational
exempt status came into question.
According to the property exempt application Elon
completed in 2009, the Lighthouse Tavern is a “Campus
Center for students and student activities.”
The property came into question when Gerald V'ork,
tax administrator for Alamance County, was notified by
a citizen's complaint, which York did not elaborate on.
“I wasn’t aware that the property was tax exempt,”
Most of Elon University's properties are tax exempt
because of the university's nonprofit status.
On the tax exemption application, the university cites
N.C. General Statute 105-278.4 and 105-278.7, which lists
specific reasons the property should be exempt. The
statutes say the property will be “wholly and exclusively
used for educational purposes by the owner (Elon).”
The university doesn't mention its use of alcohol in
the application, something Gerald Whittington, senior
vice president of business, finance and technology, said
was not asked for on the form.
The third item on the tax document asks the
organization to list and explain the purposes for which
the properties will be used.
■fhe document read, “this facility is for Elon students
and guests and is not open to the public.”
The answer Elon provided on the tax exempt
application does not mention how the facility will be
used for educational reasons nor the facility’s use of
alcohol to turn profit.
Robert Dunlap, who is responsible for programming
at Lighthouse, said the facility is a tremendous learning
tool for students.
“Students are planning and hosting events and
gaining leadership experience,” Dunlap said.
Students who hold leadership positions often plan
for weeks, publicizing the event on campus and finally
seeing the event through. Without Lighthouse, Dunlap
said, students would be severely limited as to where
they could host events.
“The bar is open only 15 hours a week, and even
then, some students rent (the facility) for nonalcoholic
events," Dunlap said.
ARAMARK, Elon's food service provider, is licensed
to sell alcohol, but the university policy states that
alcohol cannot be served at fundraising events. Dunlap
said most commonly the Greek organizations rent
Lighthouse to host events.
The university bought the property in 2008 for
almost $300,000 more than the assessed value from the
owner, Grayson Chad Snyder, an adjunct professor at
the time. Snyder was arrested for possession and intent
to sell cocaine and GHB, a date rape drug.
After fights and drug-related instances became
increasingly problematic, the university made
Lighthouse into a “hangout" for students and faculty,
“We began to worry about the safety of students," he
The application also said Lighthouse would not be
open to the public, a practice that has not been enforced,
although York said whether it was open to the public,
did not matter for tax exempt status.
According to Whittington, a campus committee
requested it be made public last summer.
“We didn't know a change had been made,"
Whittington said. “Effective Monday, March 22,
Lighthouse will no longer be open to the public.”
Every three years, one-eigth of all properties in the
country must be audited, and each property must be
approved on a case-by-case standing, York said.
“Every one just assumes that if Elon owns it, the
property should be exempt,” York said. “That's just not
Whittington said the university plans to meet with
York this week to listen to his concerns and decide how
to respond to the matter.
FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON ELON NEWS, VISIT WWW.ELON.EDU/PENDULUM