Smoke signals

On the Beat

Spring is the season when flowers begin to poke through the permafrost, Wade Lagoon unfreezes, birds start to sing and cigarette smokers start to sprout across campus. Not really … it just becomes more noticeable now that everyone is pulling off their winter hats and hoods, and can actually see what’s going on around them.

It is legal to smoke tobacco in Ohio if you are over 18. However on university property, which is private property, smoking is prohibited except in the 14 designated smoking locations across campus. A map of these locations is available online. This is the policy the university adapted not long after the state of Ohio altered its rules on smoking by banning it from bars and other locations in 2006.

As the campus police force, we are charged with enforcing the policy, which always seems to generate some controversy, especially when it comes to issuing citations that can be referred to Student Affairs or Human Resources. We don’t get paid more for issuing cites, and we often get to listen to some of our least favorite responses. Among these are, “Do you know who I am?” (No, is it tattooed on your forehead? And if you are violating university policy, why should I care?) and “Don’t you have anything better to do?” (Possibly but right now I’m doing this). If you would like policy changes made, by all means lobby for them through groups like Undergraduate Student Government, but don’t take out your misplaced ire on those enforcing the existing policy.

Additionally if the lack of mountains hadn’t clued you in, we are not in Colorado or Alaska— marijuana is still illegal in the state of Ohio. State law and university policy will be enforced, and stuffing towels under your residence hall door doesn’t work. Enough said. Let’s look out for each other.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko and Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. We welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at