Letter to the Editor: Regarding the recent coverage of the no-smoking corridor on campus

To the Editor:

As Chair of the Environmental Issues Committee I wanted to write regarding recent coverage

of the “smoke-free corridor.” The article on Monday November 25 “WSU begins to implement

smoke-free corridor” did well to describe the general background to the policy officially adopted

earlier this year. The issue was first brought up by students in 2011. The EIC was charged by

the Faculty Senate in the fall 2012 with researching and reviewing the student proposal for a

smoke-free campus. Discussions and research in conjunction with this review ultimately led to

a smoke-free zone policy proposal as well as a no-idling policy proposal for the WSU campus.

Both of these were envisioned as components of a larger goal of cleaner-air on campus. Both

policy recommendations were approved by the Faculty Senate in spring of 2013 and later by the

President’s Council and the Board of Trustees. The policies were then entered into the Policy

and Procedures Manual (PPM 5-48 and PPM 5-49).

To provide an update and a response to the remark that “no educational campaign is in effect,”

six no-smoking signs for the core corridor of campus have just recently been installed. The EIC

has been pushing for the installation of the signs and was awaiting their presence before taking

steps toward helping to promote awareness of the zone. It may well be that a greater number of

signs are needed as well.

Both the Student and Faculty Senates are legislative bodies, and as such, they need to look to

and work with other partners on campus, such as student groups, the Wellness program and the

campus media, for the awareness-raising and implementation of adopted policies. As is stated

in the PPM for both the no-smoking and no-idling policies, it is hoped that through education

and signage we can achieve self-compliance. As with any significant change, adaptation will take

time and there will no doubt be resistance before this becomes the new normal. I welcome

suggestions from any of the WSU community to help facilitate this transition. (My contact

information is listed on the EIC website http://www.weber.edu/environment.)

Dr. Alice Mulder

Assistant Professor in Geography and

Chair Environmental Issues Committee