Students respect tobacco free campus policies
In the midst of all the tailgating commotion during Central Michigan Saturday's football game against Syracuse, Macomb Community College student Sara Balash smoked a cigarette in defiance.
Standing off to the side, she waited until her cigarette was finished before joining the fun. Balash didn’t want to risk getting in trouble. However, she still felt the urge to smoke.
“It just sucks,” Balash said. “We’re outside and everyone else is having fun, so why can’t (smokers?)”
As of on July 1, CMU's tobacco-free campus policy went into effect. The ban prohibits tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes from use while the smoker is on campus grounds.
Some students and some faculty members have expressed displeasure with the new rules, while others believe the new policy is quite literally a breath of fresh air. When it comes to alumni visiting town for football games, some are unimpressed with the change in policy believing that individuals will smoke regardless of the new rule.
Jim Frendt, a 1989 alumnus, remembers smokers being an integral part of campus. The smoke, he said, never really bothered him.
“I don’t see a problem with (smoking),” Frendt said. “In the buildings, no – but in common areas I don’t see why not. It’s not like it’s going to stop anyone.”
His sister, Janice Frendt, a 1993 CMU grad, sees the policy as a nice step forward.
“I’m surprised it took them this long to ban it,” she said.
Though they may not agree with the smoking ban, students and alumni respect and adhere to it.
Lt. Larry Klaus of Central Michigan University Police Department said that the biggest perpetrators of violating the non-smoking ban aren’t students, but visitors.
“If we see [people smoking] we request people put out their smoking material and abide by policy,” Klaus said.
In the event of an individual smoking, CMUPD will tell the offender they are breaking school policy. If the perpetrator refuses to observe the ban on smoking, then the police reserve the right to take action.
“It’s not against the law, but it is against university policy,” he said. “As a police department, we haven’t had a real issue with the smoking ban, though.”
During Saturday's game, an announcement came over the PA system reminding patrons that smoking was not allowed in the stadium. A corresponding advertisement for the “Breath of Fresh Air” program played on the video screen.
Certain exceptions will be made for procedures that involve tobacco. Religious ceremonies, theatre productions and research procedures that involve tobacco are the only allowed with prior approval from administration.
If an individual has a question whether or not they are able to use tobacco on campus, they are encouraged to visit the frequently asked questions section of the Tobacco-Free Policy section on the Central homepage, or call Human Resources at 989-774-2010.