As of January 1, 2017 SXU became an official tobacco-free campus. Its use is prohibited indoors and outdoors on all SXU property, including its vehicles.
Former governor, Pat Quinn, passed the Smoke-Free Campus Act in 2015 which prohibits tobacco use in Illinois state schools. Additionally, private schools have followed this initiative, and now SXU has joined as well.
“Illinois’ college students shouldn’t be subject to unwanted cigarette smoke on the campuses they call home . . . We want all schools to be healthy, clean, and productive places of learning for Illinois’ bright young minds. This new law will improve the health of our students and encourage healthier lifestyles after college graduation,” said former governor, Pat Quinn in a Press Release.
Saint Xavier Council have been conducting surveys regarding the tobacco use on campus since 2014. After finalizing a campus survey in May 2016, the results indicated that approximately 70% of the SXU community preferred a campus free of tobacco.
Director of Center for Nursing Education, Kathleen Rohan, explained that this initiative was student driven presented by the student government to former President Christine Wiseman, since, “many students were concerned about their exposure to second-hand smoke on campus.”
“This policy will have a positive impact for students, employees and guests because they will not be exposed to 2nd hand smoke while on campus property. It also creates a supportive environment for those trying to quit. Additionally, a tobacco-free campus discourages the initiation of tobacco use in young adults, a population primary served by SXU,” said Director Rohan.
There are only three exceptions for tobacco use at SXU: ceremonial smoking (prior approval from Provost needed), tobacco used for medical, scientific or research programs (prior approval from Provost needed), and Gilhooley’s, which follows the City of Chicago laws.
The SXU student body has been receiving emails about these changes. Some expressed their opinions about this to the Xavierite.
“I like it, I used to find it really annoying when I would come to school in the morning and see people smoking outside the Warde. It was really annoying to get that scent in the morning,” said Oscar Garcia.
“My mom is a smoker, so it’s like the same thing to me. When I saw it, I [thought] ‘that’s nice for the school and for the people who have a problem with it.’ I don’t smoke so this really doesn’t affect me,” said Ireri Zepeda.
SXU is offering a six-session program entitled Courage to Quit with the purpose of helping students, faculty, and staff to quit the use of tobacco. The sessions will be weekly and are conducted by two trained counselors. A total of $20 in cash will be collected at the first session and returned to the participant if he/she completes the program.
For more information, you may visit SXU tobacco free campus website or contact the Tobacco-Free Task Force at email@example.com. To register to Courage to Quit or for individual support you may contact the Health Center at 773-298-3712 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior News Editor