BOG approves smoking ban for WVU
Published: Friday, June 8, 2012
Updated: Saturday, June 9, 2012 00:06
The West Virginia University Board of Governors approved a policy banning tobacco use on campus by employees, students and visitors beginning July 1, 2013. The policy was adopted after a two hour executive session during the BOG meeting in Charleston, W.Va.
The ban prohibits tobacco use on any premises owned, operated, leased or occupied by WVU. This includes any outdoor areas on campus, parking lots, and previously designated smoking areas.
The policy states that signs will be posted marking non-smoking areas, and any students that violate the policy are subject to "disciplinary sanctions, up to and including expulsion."
Employees that violate the policy will similarly be subject to disciplinary action or termination. Other individuals found smoking on campus "may be removed."
The BOG Policy states that exceptions to the ban can be made for events that attract large amounts of off campus visitors, such as athletic events or concerts.
The policy was open for comment by the public before approval, and many individuals expressed their opinions on the ban.
Tami Nicole Hall, a WVU student and a smoker, said in her comment that smoking releases stress and banning that escape could cause problems.
"We are already confined to where we can smoke, and I think keeping certain places open for smoking is a much better plan," she said.
However, she does agree the regulation of smoking is necessary.
"I have seen very disrespectful motions from smokers to others. Some kind of regulation is necessary," she said.
Tysheiana Velez Marquez voiced her concerns about how long it took the University to adopt a non-smoking policy.
"Why do I have to suffer for [smokers] choice of wanting to follow a ridiculous drug?" she said. Marquez is allergic to cigarette smoke, and said she has suffered during her time at WVU.
"I love WVU's quality of education, but have been very disappointed with the quality of life," she said. "I am truly disappointed it took the school this long to try and enforce such an important policy."
The ban does not extend to WVU's divisional campuses, but the president has the authority to eventually expand it to these campuses.
A similar policy has already been implemented on the WVU Health Sciences Campus.
A section in the policy supports the use of tobacco cessation programs to help University employees quit smoking. Employees may be eligible to participate in programs for free, and students are eligible to utilize all cessation programs through WELLWVU.