“We’ve been meeting for several years about this decision, looking at other university policies and we hope to follow suit,” said Cora Hanson, environmental health and life safety manager at OU.
Hanson said she hopes OU will follow the Michigan Smoke Free Air Law, which prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars and businesses, requiring employers to provide a smoke-free work environment.
“OU is trying to promote a healthy work and learning environment and the recent completion of the Human Health Building shows that,” Hanson said. “Secondhand smoke doesn’t support our goal of health and wellness and allowing smoking on campus is a contradiction to what OU is trying to promote.”
The committee recommended the university amend OU Administrative Policy 475, which prohibits smoking in all university buildings and within 50-feet of those buildings.
The smoke-free policy is going through its standard revision process and the approval process varies, according to Hanson.
“It could get approved rapidly or it could take some time,” she said.
Hanson met with OUSC President Samantha Wolf and OUSC Vice President Robbie Williford to discuss the new policy and to get student feedback.
“We (OUSC) can’t really take a stance on the issue ourselves, but we are here as a communication tool between the students and the university,” Williford said.
Hanson said she believes using OUSC to communicate the opinions of students is an excellent way to get feedback.
“We did the same when passing the 50-feet policy,” Hanson said.
Jamie Glyglross, a freshman studying creative writing, said she hopes the new policy is approved.
“I’m allergic to smoke. It makes my throat seize up,” Glyglross said.
She said she hates walking past the brick awning outside of Hamlin Hall where a lot of smokers hang out.
Christina Certain, a sophomore studying Spanish, said she thinks creating a smoking ban is not a good idea.
“We’re already outside and there is already a 50 feet from the building rule,” Certain said. “It’s outside and it’s not really affecting anybody. It hasn’t been a problem thus fa. Why change it?”
Payton Zielinski, a sophomore studying biology, said she doesn’t think a smoke-free campus is fair for people who just want to enjoy a cigarette afterward.
“If everyone abides by the 50 feet rule, it shouldn’t affect anyone,” Zielinski said.
James Hosner, a junior biology major, said students do not follow the 50-feet rule.
“We can’t really enforce the 50-feet rule because it isn’t a law, it’s just a university rule,” Sam Lucido, chief of OUPD said.
Hanson said the university is focused on creating resources to help people get rid of smoking habits.
“We have activities planned to coincide with the ‘Great American Smokeout’ Nov. 15 in the Oakland Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.,” Hanson said.
According to The American Cancer Society’s website, the 37th annual “Great American Smokeout” encourages smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit or to quit smoking that day.
For on-campus resources, current smoking policies and “Freedom From Smoking” group classes, visit www.oakland.edu/smokefreeyou
Contact Multimedia Reporter Misha Mayhand via email at email@example.com