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USG looks into tobacco ban, University officials discuss possible effects of marijuana legalization

Though smoke-free regulations are already in place, Undergraduate Student Government is considering taking steps to make the University a tobacco-free campus. 

USG President Victor Senn said it was “proactive of (the University)” to become a clean-air campus three years ago, and becoming a tobacco-free campus is a possibility the students should be aware of. 

Senn also said “a lot of schools have become tobacco-free” and this was part of the reason the University started to take notice of the policy.

Being a tobacco-free campus goes beyond the clean-air policy currently in affect on campus. Smoke-free regulations are meant to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke, but may still allow smoking in designated areas. 

However, tobacco-free campuses would prohibit students from having any tobacco products on campus whatsoever, including tobacco products that don’t cause second-hand smoke such as chewing tobacco. 

Senn wanted to let the student body know that so far USG is not sure about the University becoming a tobacco-free campus, and it’s “not something that’s happening right now.” The student government wants to be more informed about what the student body would like to do about this before they take any action, whether it be moving forward with the idea or striking it down.

Another smoking issue that is going to be decided in Ohio this November is the legalization of marijuana. The possible legalization raises many questions about how it could affect Ohio campuses and schools. 

Faith Yingling, director of Wellness Connection, said she didn’t want to speak for the University, but she’s been involved in enough to have an idea of the campus’s plan if marijuana is legalized. 

Yingling said, “If it were legalized, it’s still considered an illegal drug (by) the federal government, and we receive federal funding.” 

Therefore, the drug would still not be allowed on campus. 

There is also the matter of what will happen to students if they are caught with marijuana on campus. 

In an email, Assistant Dean of Students Jeremy Zilmer stated, “At this point in time, we are still in the process of determining what the exact impact would be on campus, including any University policies, if the law does go into effect.” As such, students will not be made aware of any policy changes or consequences until and if the law goes into effect. 

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