The University of Iowa is looking to take its smoking policy to the next level, which would mean no smoking anywhere on campus. Smokers lighting up on the University of Iowa campus already face restrictions that require them to stay clear of university hospitals and clinics, avoid the health science campus, and stand at least 25 feet away from any other building.
A university committee is exploring the idea of eliminating smoking from every square inch of campus, and it’s treading unfamiliar territory for a university this size. Sue Buckley is the school’s director of human resources. "The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Oklahoma at Stillwater intend to go entirely smoke-free. I think we’ll see more schools in the near future announce they intend to," Buckley says.
Possibly leading the pack might bring challenges for Iowa, according to one student. Graduate student Greg Machlin asks, "Are we even able to enforce a campus wide smoking ban?" The committee hasn’t really addressed enforcement efforts, but it says it might be more self-policing or friendly reminders from others than tickets and fines.
Some, like sophomore Hannah Rigler, think it’s a task the university should tackle. "I think it’s a good idea because it’s something we’ve already started at the medical buildings," Rigler says.
Others say butt out. Whether smokers will be snuffed out entirely won’t be decided until year’s end. The committee will give its recommendations to University President Sally Mason around the beginning of December. She will ultimately decide whether or not to pursue the ban.