USG elections poll says majority of students support tobacco-free campus

However, vote was close, campus remains divided on issue

Mike McKenna, News Editor

In last week’s Undergraduate Student Government Elections students were given the opportunity to vote on whether they would support a tobacco-free campus. Such a policy is being drafted by university officials. Currently Case Western Reserve University permits smoking in 15 designated areas scattered throughout the campus, but the proposed changes would prohibit the use of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes on campus property and University Hospital grounds.

So how do undergraduate feel about going smoke-free?

The votes are in, and the results are mixed. A majority (52.15 percent, 764 votes) of students said they would support a tobacco-free policy, compared to about a third (34.53 percent, 506 votes) who voted against making such a decision.

Around 13 percent (195 votes) of students said they were neutral or had no opinion on the subject .

In response to the feedback received, current members of the USG student life committee are drafting legislation which they will present at their general assembly meeting on Tuesday April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Toepfer Room of Adelbert Hall.

According to third-year Taylor Gladys, newly elected USG president and former vice president of student life, the legislation did not take a stance in direct support or opposition to the proposed policy. Instead, it will request that the university administration put the decision to go tobacco-free to a university referendum if the proposed policy moves forward.

The resolution will most likely also state that the university should create a committee of undergraduate students to help amend the current proposal. It is also expected to support stricter enforcement of the current policy, and will support the idea of CWRU giving two semesters of notification to students if a new tobacco free policy were to pass.