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Smoke-free initiative to be implemented

After almost two years of deliberating, rewriting and voting, University Senate passed the Smoke-Free Campus resolution on Oct. 19. 

Originally, the resolution started as a referendum during the spring 2016 student body elections as a way to gauge student interest in a smoke-free campus, but discussion surrounding the topic has been ongoing since 2014. 

“It was a non-binding referendum that [asked] if students would support a smoke-free campus or not,” Nathan Thomas, vice president of Student Affairs, said. “[The results of the vote said] 78 percent of the students supported some version of a smoke-free campus. Senate has worked on it, then it’s been to University Senate. So it’s been 18 months, at least, since that referendum passed.”

 As is written in the resolution, smoking will be completely prohibited on Bradley’s campus, including all academic and residence halls, greek houses and all public property of Bradley University. Additionally, promotion of smoking and tobacco products through any campus organization, activity or media is prohibited.

“Student Senate hopes to see a positive change in the student experience walking through campus,” Molly Paterson, secretary of the assembly, said. “We are here to promote a safe and healthy environment for students to live and learn, and are confident that this act being passed will improve this environment.” 

While the resolution has officially passed through University Senate, students can expect an extended waiting period while Bradley’s Administrative Council designs an implementation program detailing how the university will promote, carry out and enforce the resolution.

“I would doubt [the implementation plan] will be [ready] next semester,” Thomas said. “What I would anticipate is that next semester, we will begin to launch our communications plan around it with a full-out announcement and a timeline and other pieces of that … I don’t see where some time next semester we’re a smoke-free campus.”

The administration’s current plan for enforcing the new resolution will be primarily on students and staff to hold themselves accountable.

 “As the policy is written right now, the enforcement is on the honor system,” Thomas said. “That’s what we’ve seen as far as best practices around looking at other universities and their policies, that type of system that most people are doing that seems to work relatively well.”

 Thomas also said if the honor system does not prevent the issue, the administration will plan to take further action.

 “If there are habitual problems, those will be addressed through … whatever the appropriate way may be,” Thomas said. “But after that we don’t necessarily have a system built on what that would look like nor probably will we. I think it’ll be much easier to address them in one-off situations, then it will be to imagine a policy that covers every single thing.”

 Paterson said she believes implementation of the resolution may present challenges for the administration.

 “We are aware that it will be difficult to implement and have been recently informed that the administration is working hard on creating a plan for this,” Paterson said. “We know they will find a way to implement successful methods of enforcement.”

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