No smoking policy now enforced
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 21:09
East Tennessee State University’s no smoking policy will be more strictly enforced this semester.
Because of the frequent noncompliance with ETSU’s smoking ban by the campus community in 2012, the activity of smoking will now be more closely monitored and inhibited by the university’s Department of Public Safety and the Division of Student Affairs.
“We got a lot of complaints last year about people smoking on campus,” said Lieutenant Mike Orr. “So a committee met to decide what to do about it. Starting this semester, we’re going to be tightening up.”
“The process is going to change,” he said. “It used to be that if someone was seen smoking on campus, we would give them a warning. If they repeated the offense, then we would refer them to Student Affairs if they were a student and to their superiors if they were an employee. But from now on, there aren’t going to be any more warnings.”
Two security officers have been assigned solely to the prevention of smoking on campus. The primary role of these officers will be to detect any smoking activity and take “disciplinary action,” he said.
“Those found to be in violation of the Tobacco Free ETSU policy will be referred appropriately,” said Jeff Howard, associate dean of students.
“Students to the Student Affairs Office and faculty or staff to Human Resources,” he said. “Students may be charged with violating Student Disciplinary Policies for which a finding of responsible could yield many possible sanctions, including fines.”
ETSU students have a variety of opinions regarding both the no smoking policy itself and the more stringent enforcement of it this semester.
Regarding the ban itself, student Marquis Creech explained that he believed it was beneficial to the school for environmental reasons. “I like that there’s no smoking,” he said. “I’m glad that it keeps the air clean and the environment clean.”
Others remarked on the health issue of having smoking on campus.
“I have asthma, and walking past people smoking will automatically set it off,” student Ca’Lantrica Hunt said.
Taylor Chase, an occasional smoker, believed it improved the overall appearance of the school. “It makes everything seem cleaner; it makes the campus look nicer.”
Student Marcus Counts said, “It’s just a good policy to have. It’s not hard to abide by. You can just go off campus if you want to smoke.”
Students also expressed their thoughts regarding the stricter disciplinary action that will be employed this year.
Some believe it to be a good thing and are very much in favor of fining individuals who are caught smoking on campus.
“It’s a smoke-free campus and you’ve got to enforce that rule somehow,” student Wyatt Dennison said.
Some said that while they agree that the tobacco-free policy should be enforced, disciplinary action such as fines are unnecessary.
“Most college students are struggling just to get through paying for tuition and books,” student Tanya Martin said. “Why make them pay for smoking?”
Smoking is still permitted in personal vehicles. For more information about the Tobacco Free ETSU policy, visit www.etsu.edu/dps.