Smoking task force looking to change policies on campus
The smoking policy at Wright State could be updated by the end of the semester, as a new team has been formed by administration to determine the policy that would best suit campus.
The Smoking Task Force is a committee consisting of students, staff, faculty and administration that has been assembled to assess and update the current smoking policy, which has not been amended since 1994. The group is backed by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) and was formed after OBR passed a resolution that encouraged college campuses to go “tobacco free” and create a smoking policy that best serves them.
Smoking Task Force member and University College Senator Ryan Rushing said that the committee has no position on how the policy should be updated at this point, and they are still gathering information and feedback from the university.
“Our job is to go out there and see what the university wants,” Rushing said. “We’re not anti-smoking, but we’re not pro-smoking.”
The current smoking policy only bans smoking in nonresidential university buildings and states that smoking is “allowed only in individual resident living units and only when all residents of the unit agree to allow smoking.”
Although current Wright State policy forbids any indoor smoking, Rushing said that the now illegal policy measure serves as an example for why the policy should be updated.
“It’s outdated,” Rushing said. “There’s been a lot of different social, political atmosphere changes since .”
Rushing said that there are four potential options that have been “looked at the most”. The campus could implement a complete tobacco ban forbidding all tobacco products or a smoking ban, which would still allow smokeless forms of tobacco.
The campus could also operate with zones in which WSU would designate certain areas that allowed smoking or a “feet distance from the door” rule, which would require that smokers be a specific measured distance from the door of a building.
Rushing said that after assessing the interests of the campus, the Smoking Task Force would make a proposal to the president’s cabinet, who would make the final decision.
The Smoking Task Force is preparing an online survey that will be released in the near future to collect data on what the students think about the smoking issue.