Poll: RU students want campus-wide smoking ban
A slim majority of Radford University students polled by the Student Government Association support banning smoking on campus, but any policy shift is a long way off.
The Radford SGA added a survey on a proposal to ban smoking across campus to its annual officer elections held Sept. 25-27, according to a university news release.
SGA President Emily Redd did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the election.
The voting was done online and at a voting booth in the Hurlburt Student Center. The SGA promoted its elections extensively, using traditional advertising and social media.
Just over 1,500 of Radford’s more than 9,000 students cast ballots over the Sept. 25-27 voting period – double the number of voters in the previous election. Nearly 52 percent of those who voted supported banning smoking anywhere on campus, including outdoors on the grounds, the news release stated.
Under current university policy, smoking is disallowed inside facilities or outside within 25 feet of campus buildings.
The smoking ban proposal now goes to the Student Affairs Executive Council for consideration, the news release stated, but that is just the start of the university governance gauntlet.
Any changes to the existing policy would have to go through faculty, staff and administrative personnel senates, as well as other university committees, and more research would have to be done by officials, said Dean of Students Don Appiarius.
Smoking on campus is a complex issue that affects everyone who lives or works at, or even visits the university, Appiarius said.
“You’re dealing with people’s comfort level with the smell of tobacco products versus the right to smoke in the open air,” the dean said.
About two years ago, Appiarius said, the student body similarly voted in a slim majority to ban smoking campus-wide.
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