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In a recent portal announcement the college has announced its plan to hold a town hall style meeting after spring break to discuss the impending changes to the smoking and/or tobacco policy. According to the announcement, the purpose of this meeting is to once again give the EC community an opportunity to voice their opinions about the possibility of banning tobacco and/or smoking.
A smoking ban would push all smoking off campus, while going tobacco-free would bar any and all tobacco products, smoked or not.
The conversation purportedly stems from and is in line with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative, an organization which helps institutions transition to being tobacco-free. While it may seem like the logical step for a liberal institution interested in protecting the health of its students, faculty, and staff, many students have expressed concern about the college impinging on personal decisions. However, Emmanuel is a dry campus, so limiting individual intake of potentially harmful substances does, in fact, have a precedent.
The history of the debate is well-documented and many seem to have a strong stance. The town hall meeting will be an opportunity for members of the community to personally express their concerns and opinions before the Exploratory Committee, though all have had the chance to do so through an anonymous Qualtrics survey.
The college has also devoted a portion of its website to the cause, with links to articles explaining the health risks associated with smoking, as well as tips and information about quitting tobacco.
The town hall meeting will take place in the auditorium on Thursday, March 20 at 4:3o pm. The committee is planning on making its recommendation before the President’s Cabinet and the Board of Trustees by April, though no official date has been set.