Less than 48 hours into the Tobacco-free policy implemented on Central Michigan University’s campus, university administrators are still figuring out how to dole out consequences to violators of the ban.
CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said campus police will not enforce the ban, pointing instead to an honor system among students, faculty and staff.
Instead, the Office of Student Conduct will be in charge of enforcing the policy for students, the Human Resources Department for staff, and finally, Faculty Personnel Services for faculty.
“We are an educational process in nature,” said Tom Idema, director of Student Conduct. “I don’t even know what that first conversation would go like. People should know about this ban. It has been talked about a lot. I would think that people would pretty responsive to the rules around here.”
The Student Conduct office would look at first-time student offenders through a lens focused on “can we educate this person on the rules?” Idema said.
Idema and his office have not met with other university officials regarding enforcement and punishment, but said he would not stand for any double standard between penalties for students and that of faculty and staff.
“It is probably a good idea to have some of those conversations sooner rather than later,” Idema said. “Consistency is a big thing. We want to be fair to everybody.”
Faculty and staff violations that are “persistent” should be reported to CMU’s Human Relations or Faculty Personnel Services. A visitor who is not adhering to the ban should be reported to the CMU police, according to the policy.
Dennis Armistead, director of Faculty Personnel Services, said any allegations of misconduct will be dealt with in the greater context of a faculty member’s behavioral history.
“For first-time offenders, we would have to admonish them and make sure they are educated on the rules,” Armistead said. “With aggravated misconduct or repeat offenders, more in-depth intervention would be needed on (the department’s) part.”
Armistead warned an offender’s ignorance of the law would hold little weight with his department and their decision to enforce sanctions.
“This is a relatively new policy,” he said. “With that being said, this campus community is well aware of this initiative. Hopefully, we won’t have many issues.”
Kevin Smart, director of employee relations, said repercussions for staff members who violate the smoking policy should come as no surprise.
“CMU has taken the appropriate steps toward making sure everyone know what the rules are now,” Smart said. “We would handle a violation of that policy just like any other misconduct situation.”