On the beat…Looking out for our community

Smoking tobacco, whether in the form of a cigarette, a Sherlock Holmes-style pipe, or a (non-Cuban) stogie, is a more heavily regulated and taxed activity than in years past. In 2006, the state of Ohio joined many others in banning smoking in many public places.

Shortly thereafter, Case Western Reserve University made its own changes to the university smoking policy to mirror the new state law. This is the policy that led to the establishment of designated smoking area at the university, which are still present across campus.

The purpose of this week’s column is not to discuss the pros and cons of smoking; it is to outline the current CWRU policy on smoking, which the CWRU Police and Security services department has been charged with enforcing.

It is also the policy on which our department receives a number of complaints every year, either due to confusion about the policy or dislike of the policy. We cannot do much about dissatisfaction with the policy, but we can at least try to make it a little clearer.

The policy itself is very simple. Smoking is prohibited on university property except in designated smoking areas, which are marked by white signs. A list of smoking locations, as well as other information on the policy, is available on the CWRU website.

Violation of the policy can result in a citation that goes through either Student Affairs or Human Resources. The first citation is essentially a documented warning. After the first citation, the penalties go up for repeat violations.

As a final note, if you would not expect screaming at a professor to convince him or her to change a C to an A, why would you expect screaming at a university police or security officer to get you out of a smoking citation? Something to think about.