Missouri Southern Board of Governors approves campus tobacco ban


Brad Stout | The Chart

The tobacco-free campus initiative goes into effect this fall after the Missouri Southern Board of Governors approved the drafted policy during their monthly meeting Sept. 18.

The campus-wide tobacco ban is now ahead of schedule. During a meeting Sept. 18, the Missouri Southern Board of Governors voted to approve the new policy, which will ban all tobacco-related products on campus, including traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, chewing tobacco, snuff and other tobacco-administering products.

Earlier in the semester, Darren Fullerton, vice president of student affairs, anticipated the policy wouldn’t make it to the board to be approved until October, making a spring implementation more likely. With the timetable now moved, a soft implementation is expected to roll throughout the rest of the fall 2015.

The full-blown implementation is currently still planned for fall 2016. According to Fullerton, the reason for the delay is that the University’s publications and admissions documents that will include the new policy are only printed once a year.

Fullerton said the administration is currently asking the campus as a whole to help enforce the ban. He said he hopes people will educate each other about the ban in a non-confrontational way.

“This would not be administered by just the campus police department,” said Fullerton. “It would be a self-policing policy across campus.”

Any students deemed repeat offenders of the new policy will be disciplined under the student conduct guidelines. Similarly, employees deemed repeat offenders will be reported to their supervisors as violating a University policy. The most challenging group of people on campus to deal with when enforcing the new policy will be visitors, says Fullerton.

The idea for the tobacco free campus initiative was introduced during a Student Senate meeting in the spring of 2014 and was put to a student vote April 28, 2014, where the measure passed 401-159. Faculty and Staff Senate members then asked all employees on campus to weigh in on the issue. The Missouri Southern Board of Governors had the final word on the tobacco ban policy.