By: Kevin Thomas ~Staff Writer~
Xavier will continue to be a campus that allows smoking, at least for the time being.
The ad hoc committee on smoking, as part of Xavier’s Student Government Association (SGA), has decided to recommend to the administration simply to put up signage around certain buildings.
“The committee met after the forum a few times,” said Michael Quigley, the current Vice President of SGA. “We brought the suggestion to Senate, which was not to create any smoking zones, but rather we are going to work towards promoting the rule we have now.”
It is uncertain which buildings would have the signs outside of them, though it is definite that there would be signage outside of Gallagher Student Center and the Bellarmine Chapel. The ideas forsigns were a result of the forum that SGA held on Nov. 10.
“Out of the forum that we had, one of the main ideas was to have signs across campus in the busiest parts that say, ‘Mind your smoke! Please keep 30 to 50 feet away,’” said Josh House, a senator and member of the ad hoc committee.
Exactly how far away smokers would need to be from buildings is still being worked out. Currently, Xavier policy says that smokers must be at least 15 feet away from all buildings, though the committee might change the distance to either 30 or 50 feet.
There are also other issues that the committee is working on. The members are attempting to figure out exactly where the funding for the signs would come from, as they do not want to use money from the student activity fund, for the purpose of putting up signs.
Members of the SGA committee are also working with a separate committee made up of faculty and staff.
“For this initiative to go through, the whole university needs to be on board,” SGA President Caleb Mickler said. “That includes the faculty and staff.”
However, this is not the end of the road regarding smoking and tobacco. There may be initiatives moving forward as early as next year that will change the rules even further.
“From my understanding, There’s going to be several phases.” Mickler said.
According to nonsmoke.org, as of Oct. 1, there are 1,713 completely smokefree campuses in the United States, of which 1,427 are completely tobacco free. This number has grown exponentially since 2011, when only 586 campuses were smoke free and 446 were 100 perecent tobacco free.
In tri-state area, Ohio University, Nothern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati are among the institutions that have already put smoke free initiatives into place on their campuses.