Toss out those lighters and throw away those cigarettes-at least while on campus.
This will be the last year for lighting cigarettes on Miami University’s campus, as the board of trustees voted six to one in approval of President David Hodge’s resolution to make Miami smoke free, during the Sept. 14 meeting at the Shriver Center.
The board of trustees was the final word on making Miami smoke-free, as a resolution has passed from university senate, to Hodge and was finally brought to the board for a vote.
Based on the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report; “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” which determined there is no safe level of secondhand smoke; and in accordance with the university’s commitment to maintain a healthy living and learning community, Hodge recommended all campuses to be smoke-free at the beginning of the 2008-09 academic year.
According to Hodge, the resolution was the result of an enormous amount of campus activity. This past spring semester the university senate assembled an ad-hoc committee on smoking to suggest a smoking policy. After reviewing different options, the committee advised that all four of Miami’s campuses become smoke-free.
This includes Miami’s campus in Luxembourg. Dean Ekkehard Stiller said via e-mail that he told his faculty, staff and students at the beginning of this semester that smoking would be prohibited, in anticipation of the potential ban.
“All evidence indicates that we have already made our campus a non-smoking campus and that everyone has accepted it as of the fall semester, 2007,” Stiller said in his e-mail.
Stiller said this would also be in effect when the campus moves locations in 2012, when the lease on the current location is expired.
“While Europe is lagging behind, the non-smoking regulations have become very firm,” he said. “Much has been learned from the United States.”
Though the university senate supported the ban when it was first brought to them last semester, they decided against the suggestion to create “hospitality smoking areas,” which included allowing smoking in areas such as the Miami Inn and Marcum Conference Center-places where guests to Miami often reside.
For his resolution, however, Hodge sided with the committee on smoking, suggesting these smoking zones for campus visitors be allowed, as visitors may not be aware of the smoke-free policy. This was, in turn, the policy adopted by the board of trustees.
The smoking zones will be stationed in the areas of the previously discussed “hospitality smoking areas,” specifically in the Miami Inn, Marcum Conference Center and other designated lodging facilities for overnight guests. Also, according to Hodge, the smoking zones will be revisited after two years to see if they are still needed or can be eliminated.
Board member Lolita McDavid raised the issue of punishment for violating the smoking ban, but Hodge said the resolution has not been completely laid out.
“The resolution is not at that level of specification,” Hodge said.
But regardless of its penalties, fraternity houses will not have to worry about the smoking ban.
“Even though they are involved with the Interfraternity Council-which is affiliated with the campus-fraternity houses are not university-owned housing,” said Kerry McCormack, student member of the board of trustees. “So the smoking ban does not apply.”
It is unclear if the exception of fraternity houses will change when the on-campus living requirement for sophomores is established in fall 2008, and according to both Hodge and McCormack it will be decided on in the future.
“The resolution is to help people who want to quit smoking do so … (I) expect cooperation to be very high,” Hodge said to the board.
After only a brief discussion, the board adopted the smoking ban with only one vote against from John S. Christie. Christie was unable to be reached for comment.
Stacey Skotzko contributed to this report.