With current smoking policies under review, students and faculty will be asked their opinion
Annalisse Crosswell, Associate News Editor
With policies that do not measure up to current bylaws, Capilano University’s current on-campus smoking regulations are due for review. Thirty areas on campus that currently allow smoking infringe upon bylaws, and a mere five areas around the University have been found to be in accordance with BC’s smoking regulations. There was a delay due to consistent changes to the bylaws and a new administration that was focused on more pressing issues, but the University will probably update its policies by the 2019-20 academic year.
Despite the recent legalization of marijuana, the substance is not factoring into the upcoming changes but will come into discussion likely within the next couple of months according to Vice-President Academic Joshua Millard. “…at this point it seems clear to me that it will be treated similar to alcohol, which is banned on campus. I think some people will be upset by that, many won’t…” he said. As a Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) representative, Millard cannot comment as to what the official policy will eventually be, but has more insight than the average student.
Millard took on a role in the President’s Advisory Committee On Smoking and a sub-committee, the Change Management Committee, in the short term absence of Vice-President Finance & Services Dhillon Dilnavaz, who has since resigned from his position on the CSU board. Dilnavaz previously sat on a committee that dealt with the location of new smoking areas. The committee met once to designate areas and suggested five to the President’s Advisory Committee, of which three were decided upon as likely candidates for the new smoking areas that will be spread out between the top and bottom of campus.
Changes take time, however, and plenty of conversation due to the naturally differing views of faculty, students and University administration must be taken into account. “…we support having areas on campus where students can smoke, because we view smoking as an addiction and it’s wrong to make students, at any time of the year, have to walk off campus for miles in order to smoke,” said Millard of the CSU’s position on the matter.
Students will have the opportunity to voice their opinions close to, or during, the reading break that spans the week of Feb. 18-22. Students are encouraged to check their emails during this time as a survey will be sent out. There will also be other public consultations on the matter. Participation in the consultation period is the most important aspect for the CSU members dealing with the policy updates given that this will likely make students more receptive to the changes.
Though the decision of where the smoking areas will be has essentially been decided, the consultation process could bring changes if feedback is decidedly against what is being proposed. Millard believes that, given a chance to have a say in the matter, students will be receptive to the changes.
It has been discussed that the new smoking areas would include a seating area and coverage from the rain, something that the current smoke-friendly areas are lacking. These new features could possibly improve the chances of students accepting changes as they come into effect.