The Faculty Senate on is proposing a policy to have a tobacco free campus. This policy defines tobacco as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, spit tobacco, and electronic cigarettes. If passed, the policy could be in effect as early as next year.
There is already a rule in place that smokers need to be a certain distant away from a building before lighting up, but not a lot of students follow that rule. It is seen as soon as students leave a building they immediately light up. SLU is attempting to be like other campuses around the city that have a similar policy. Schools like Wash U and UMSL has a smoke free policy on their campuses.
The current policy is required students to be at least 25 feet away from the building before smoking cigarettes, but not a lot of people know about this policy. “As it gets cooler, people start moving closer to the door even though there is that 25 foot to 50 foot policy. So when people are smoking at the door you have this very concentrated amount of carcinogens you are inhaling as you’re entering the building even though it’s brief, it’s very potent,” Allegra A. Merriweather said. Merriweather is the President of an organization on campus called Smoke Free SLU. With this policy in place it does not seem it is enforce. Places like Xavier Hall, Fusz and the library on campus do not have signs that say “No smoking”. There was one sign at Beracha Hall, but around campus these signs are not on every building.
Some students do not agree with new policy and shows concern as to what it might mean if they can no longer smoke on campus.” If you make it illegal to smoke on campus then smokers will have to go off campus to smoke which can be dangerous,” Lauren Schmidt said. Schmidt is a junior at SLU and there is concerned especially if the policy is passed students may have to go to public areas at night.
There have been meetings taken place about the policy. It is open to the public and students and faculty members can voice their opinion about the new policy and also get more information. “I mean smoke-free, you are protecting people from secondhand smoke. Tobacco-free you are targeting the users, trying to protect them from themselves, and so that was some of the discussion at the Faculty Senate,” Dr. Jane W. Turner said. Turner also says that the Faculty Senate is spilt down the middle and there is no timetable as to when the policy will be passing or not.
The Faculty Senate is talking about the pros and the cons of the new policy. They are welcoming students and faculty feedback on the propose policy and are taken it seriously. Dean Trevathan promises to take these concerns back to the Executive Committee. Any questions students may have should contact their student government representative with update information on the new policy.