According to Student Government Association President Alissa VanMeeteren, SGA is pleased with the way the smoking ban has been doing during its initial weeks of enactment.
Still, some students and faculty members have not observed the new policy.
VanMeeteren said there are “minimal people failing to adhere to policy.”
“SGA knew violations would happen,” VanMeeteren said. “It is most unfortunate to see faculty and staff disregarding the policy as we had hoped and expected they might set an example for the students. Overall, we believe implementation has gone very smoothly.”
Housing staff are also noticing a change.
Tiffany Leschke, the Richardson and Olson Hall residential director, said she has seen a decline in smokers.
“I have absolutely seen a decline; in fact, it is almost nonexistent,” Leschke said. “I hear more about how nice it is to not walk through a cloud of smoke than anger towards the ban, so I can assume it is being accepted. There will always be some that are upset, but that is normal.”
Leschke said there has only been one violator of the smoking ban outside of Olson Hall. The smoker was documented for their actions.
Leschke said a larger campus adherence to the ban must require non-smokers to take responsibility.
“Students shouldn’t be afraid to remind smokers that there is a smoking ban on campus. Peer accountability goes a long way,” she said.
Leschke said she does not foresee an increase of smoking on campus, “as long as students, faculty and staff are holding each other accountable.”
VanMeeteren said the SGA does not intend to try and enforce the rule with more strictness, because she believes there is a general acceptance to the ban.
“Policies such as this take a little bit of time to be fully accepted,” VanMeeteren said. “If the number of observed violations increases significantly, we will discuss stricter enforcement.”
First-year Aspen Ducheneaux is a smoker, and said her fellow smokers are upset about the smoking ban.
“I know that a lot of smokers are angry,” Ducheneaux said. “I only smoke once a week, and I’m probably going to stop smoking now that we can’t on campus anymore.”
First-year Mariah Mogck does not smoke. She said she has seen the ban work effectively.
“I love the smoking ban,” she said. “I enjoy smelling fresh air when walking, instead of a smoker’s cigarette smoke in front of me. Students do not have far to go to get off campus in order to smoke.”
While the ban has been in place for less than a month, SGA believes both smokers and nonsmokers have accepted the ban.
“There will always be those who don’t accept policy, whether being a ban on smoking or an age restriction on alcohol consumption, but that is their choice. We cannot expect these individuals to praise our efforts,” VanMeeteren said. “However, we do expect people to respect the policies of the university. It will take time for the ban to be fully accepted by the entire university community, but we are pleased with the acceptance we’ve seen.”