Tobacco ban goes into effect across campus
Construction isn’t the only thing that changed the campus landscape, a new tobacco-free policy enacted June 1 has also changed The Campus Beautiful.
Since the policy was enacted, an online reporting system has filed 50 complaints about tobacco-use on campus and three sanctions have been handed out to students in residence halls, said Jack Rutherford, co-chair of the Tobacco-Free Taskforce.
The entire campus community is responsible for helping to enforce the ban, Rutherford said.
The taskforce wants to set up training classes that will be open to students and university employees to instruct them on how to approach violators of the tobacco ban and tell them there is a tobacco-free policy in a compassionate manner, said Renee Fox, co-chair of the Tobacco-Free Taskforce.
The taskforce is currently interviewing candidates to serve as Tobacco-Free Ambassadors to help police the policy and issue sanctions, Rutherford said. The Ambassadors will be the ones directly responsible for issuing sanctions to students and employees.
The sanctions are as follows: the first offense for students includes one semester of social probation, completion of the tobacco education program, based on quizzes and video through Blackboard, a two-page educational paper and written reprimand.
The second offense for students includes one semester of university probation, two hours of university service assigned through the Student Rights and Responsibility Office, an educational paper, a $100 administrative fee and written reprimand.
The third offense for students includes one semester of university probation, four hours of university service, an educational paper, a $200 administrative fee and written reprimand.
Any subsequent offenses include a year of university probation, eight hours of university service, an educational paper, a $400 administrative assessment and a written reprimand that includes a warning of suspension or expulsion from the university.
Faculty and staff that violate the policy the first time will have their supervisor contacted along with a written reprimand, Rutherford said.
Any visitors that violate the policy will be asked to leave campus, Fox said.
Signs are posted along all of the roads that enter the university, the EKU Center will have the policy posted in brochures, and a message will play at the university’s athletic events, Rutherford said. Football Coach Dean Hood also recorded a message that will play at the home football games.
The only setback the taskforce faced during the summer was not removing all of the smoke shacks. Rutherford said a buyer was lined up to move some the shelters across campus for bus stops and to potentially use them for transit stops throughout Richmond, but the buyer backed out at the last minute.
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