Are you happy with MU’s new smoking policy?

Yesterday, the MU News Bureau sent a release about their new smoking policy that will take effect in three phases, the first of which will be implemented on Jan 20.  Starting on that day you must be at least 20 feet away from any entrance, exit, window, or air intake system if you are smoking.  The next phase, aimed for July of 2011, will allow smoking only in designated areas, and the final phase will prohibit smoking on campus altogether, MU hopes by 2014.  

Christian Basi, my contact at the news bureau, emphasized that this policy was developed after a lot of input was gathered from faculty, staff, and students, and that the vice chancellor met with major organizations on campus, such as MU’s Faculty Council, Staff Advisory Council, and the Missouri Students Association before finalizing the details of the new policy. 

The Maneater reported, however, that the Missouri Students Association earlier this month failed to pass a bill that would ban smoking on campus.  Just yesterday an editorial ran titled,  “Smoking ban is not a student mandate”.   

Unfortunately, I was unable to get in touch with anyone from the Missouri Students Association yesterday, and the story that ran in the paper today did not represent the arguments of the opposing side.  

But even while I was writing the story in the newsroom, a number of people came up to me to convey their displeasure with the new policy.  

I have no comment about whether or not the new policy represents the views of students, faculty, or staff, or whether it is a good or bad policy for MU.  But I wonder, are there other voices, other stakeholders out there we aren’t hearing from?

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