By Haley Doss, Opinion Editor —
Last week, the University announced it will a be a entirely smoke-free campus by January 2019.
Over the next year, the University will work to ease smokers into this mandate through education and awareness as they restrict the use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes or vapes on campus.
According to the University website, only 7% of students are smokers. With only a small number of the student population contributing to the smoke pollution, the number of students being forced to change their habits while on campus seems minimal.
The initiative does provide programs, support groups, counselling as well as pharmaceutical assistant for students who are interesting in quitting.
The new changes are all in an effort to make our campus environment healthy for all which I find admirable. With a large trend of Universities across the United States initiating the same changes, I feel it was only a matter of time before we did as well especially being the environmentally conscious city we are working to become.
The process in which the University has conducted the changes, mainly announcing the change will occur over the course of the year, seem smart. When dealing with a student’s lifestyle choices, a change cannot be expected overnight.
Some of my general questions and reservations for the new rule include: how will this be enforced? What are the consequences for those who break the no smoking rule? Will there be designated smoking areas? What would the University say to student smokers who feel their rights are being infringed?
As we move through this next semester and year, it will be interesting to see how the initiative will progress with time. Overall, I hope the outcome will be what is best for our campus and city without infringing on student rights.