Credit to: Hailey Macias
Endangered species on Finlandia’s campus–soon to be extinct.
Story by Alissa Pietila
Do you ever wonder how much control a college has over its students, faculty and staff? Sometimes policies formed have a larger campus impact than just on the student.
Finlandia’s proposed smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy could even have an impact on the Hancock community. According to Karen Johnson, Finlandia’s Executive Director of Communication, and the leader of the smoke- and tobacco-free task force, the entire decision to form this new regulation is, “much bigger than Finlandia. It’s supported by society.”
According to a November 2012 story by The Washington Post, proposed on-campus smoking bans have not been received positively around the United States and many have raised protest. Even Finlandia’s proposed policy has been attacked. In a statement received from the comment page on Finlandia’s website, one smoking student said, “This is getting quite ridiculous. One cannot smoke in THEIR OWN CAR while on campus? Absolutely absurd.” Many other comments, from smokers and non-smokers, have reflected this concept for a designated smoking area, especially in vehicles. Although, some respondents were completely against the concept of a smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy ever being in place.
Even with all the opposition, these bans are still gaining ground around the country. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation said that as of January 2013, there are “at least 1,129 100% smoke-free campuses with no exemptions” across the entire United States. Finlandia is next in line.
The first sentence of the proposed policy states, “Finlandia University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of our campus community.” The university will become smoke and tobacco free beginning on August 1, 2013. The policy includes allowing individuals to smoke in their personal vehicles, addressing the concern many had over a smoking spot. Also, it states that this ban pertains to all forms of tobacco products, and applies to all individuals on campus.
The Post also says that the hardest part about adding these new rules and regulations to college campuses is enforcing them. Johnson knows that enforcement will be difficult, but said that they, “don’t want to have to patrol campus” in order to maintain the policies, but will develop rules for it if an issue arises.
The process to develop this smoke- and tobacco-free policy has been long, and Johnson knows the adjustment will not be easy. Just like any other major change, she said, “It will take time.”
If you have any questions regarding the new ban, please contact Karen Johnson, Finlandia’s Executive Director of Communication, and the leader of the smoke- and tobacco-free task force, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (906) 487-7348.