Western Herald – WMU tobacco-free policy approved by Board of Trustees

WMU tobacco-free policy approved by Board of Trustees

Meghan Chandler

Beginning September 2014, students, employees and visitors of Western Michigan University will not be able to smoke on WMU’s campus.

WMU’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a tobacco-free policy at the last meeting of the year on Dec. 5 in the Bernhard Center. The policy bans all forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chew and others on WMU property beginning in September 2014. The exception to the policy is that smoking will be allowed in enclosed vehicles.

The tobacco-free policy will place WMU among just over 1,100 smoke-free and over 700 tobacco-free colleges, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. Other Michigan universities developing  tobacco policies include Central Michigan University, which will be going tobacco-free in July 2014, and Northern Michigan University which is considering implementation of a policy.

The purpose of the ban, according to vice president of student affairs Diane Anderson, is to enhance the health and wellness of the campus community in following with the fourth goal of WMU’s strategic plan.

Leading into the policy change, three surveys were conducted by the university and the results were used to modify the tobacco-free policy. The surveys conducted included one of all 4,086 WMU employees, one random sample survey of 6,500 WMU students and employees and one random sample of 5,000 students, according to Anderson. The results of the surveys were shared at the July Board of Trustees meeting.

An implementation committee was created to oversee the implementation of the policy moving forward, according to Anderson. The committee consists of students—both undergraduate and graduate, faculty and staff. The committee also includes interesting departments such as Sindecuse Health Center, University Recreation and Human Resources.

Violation of the policy will be addressed through self-monitoring, according to the agenda, and not through fines or other monitoring activities.

A website has been dedicated to the tobacco-free policy, according to Anderson. Resources on the website include frequently asked questions and free cessation services.

137 days ago by MeghanChandler in Breaking , Campus , News , Top. You can follow any responses to this entry through the | RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
2 Comments to WMU tobacco-free policy approved by Board of Trustees
    • Stephanie
    • I think this is a great step forward in making WMU a healthier, happier university. As a non-smoker, it will be nice to feel respected by not having to walk through a cloud of smoke on my way to class. I like that smokers are also respected by allowing them to smoke in their enclosed vehicles. This is a great policy change and I’m glad it’s happening.

    • NameBenjamin
    • Lets also ban the hate speech guy at the flagpoles, and all those annoying Greek organizations doing their disingenuous fundraising antics. Oh and lets ban the fast food in the Bernhard center for selling us poison, and the coffee that starts students on a life long caffeine addiction. oh and while we are at it. The university should switch entirely to wind and solar and stop burning gas and natural gas that the students are forced to breath in.

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