Students and Staff Address the “Juuling” Epidemic

Lauren Wilson, Junior Staff Writer

In 2016, e-cigarettes made their first appearance at DePaul Prep. This is a difficult and very new problem. E-cigarettes are specifically hard to catch because of their size and convenience.

As a result of this issue, there have been countless endeavors made by the administration to address vaping including juuling presentations, implementing new policies, and bathroom lockdowns.

DePaul’s most recent policy states that if a student is caught with substances they have two options: they can either accept a 5 day in school suspension, or they can attend a rehab facility called Rosecrans. This has been met with controversy by the student body. 

“They’re using scare tactics” said an anonymous junior student. “A lot of students are afraid of coming forward with their addiction because of consequences”. The student added.

Rosecrans is a counseling center meant to support and educate students struggling with substances or other emotional issues. If the student is reluctant to go to get help, their only other option is an in-school suspension. 

“Most students choose Rosecrans.” According to the upperclassmen, Dean Joe Voss.

However, not all of the responses have been negative. 

Junior student representative Graeme Phillips believes that “the administration is concerned about vaping, not to get you in trouble, but because they want the best for the student body”. 

DePaul has also taken an educational approach towards solving vaping. 

In September, students were surprised by a series of posters throughout school. Dean Voss said that as an administration “we wanted to use the facts from the news and discoveries to educate the student body”. 

To accomplish this goal, student representatives from each class informed their peers about DePaul’s mission to combat and end vaping. As Dean Voss described it, “It’s an issue not just at DePaul prep but at other schools across the nation.” 

The question then becomes: Has Progress Been Made

“Yeah! Vaping has gone down because students know that they could get cancer.” said an anonymous junior. 

Graeme Phillips brought up the point that, “I know some kids that have vaped in the past that don’t do it now. The kids that are still vaping have a genuine addiction.” 

From an administrative perspective, the question was difficult to answer, however “We haven’t caught as many people as we have in years past”. 

Recognizing that this is a problem not only at DePaul but everywhere, was the first step. 

DePaul as a student body is constantly changing. Next year, we will be at a completely new campus. As the school changes and evolves, so should its approaches. Shifting this matter into a student led discussion, offers a new perspective into how to address and solve an ever changing student problem. 

The future is dependent on what students make of their voice.