Smoking Ban proposal on Marshall’s campus

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Cabell Huntington Hospital and Marshall Health facilities have recently gone tobacco free. Now Marshall University plans to make the same smoke free decision.

Marshall University’s Student Government Association President and Student Body President, Ray Harrell says, Marshall University officials on the main campus have been closely examining the issue since last spring.

“I think it’s probably part of a culture change we’ve seen here in our country in the past five to ten years ever since smoking regulations started. I think that the more people get used to not being around it, particularly non-smokers of course, the less they want to be around it when they are exposed to it,” Harrell said.

Marshall University offers student survey’s available to any student, indicating a want to rid the campus of smoke.

Harrell was asked by University President Stephen Kopp to create a committee that would examine the prospects of going tobacco-free. Harrell said it’s more about creating an atmosphere where tobacco and smoking aren’t accepted and less about it being an enforceable regulation.

“The idea behind it, that’s been used on a strong majority of campuses nationwide, is a self-regulation mechanism sort of inserting that expectation into the culture of campus that that’s not something we do anymore or at all,” Harrell said.

Harrell and the committee will present a proposal to a student government council. If passed, the proposal will end up on the desks of the Marshall University Board of Governors.

Harrell said if things work out a tobacco ban could be in place by mid-April 2013. Harrell hopes the proposed tobacco-free campus is what students and faculty want.

“I think the committee has done a great job of working throughout the campus and feeling the concerns of the different constituencies that are recommended on the committee and we feel like hopefully the university will be behind it,” Harrell said.