Cultural accommodation recently prompted a designated smoking area in the parking lot behind Roselawn. One parking space is now blocked off with a yellow cement wheel stop and equipped with a plastic standing ashtray.
“We have struggled to find a way to be welcoming to folks while also supporting a commitment to a tobacco free environment,” commented Physical Plant Director Eldon Kurtz. He estimates that tobacco use on campus increased in prevalence alongside the inception of the Adult Degree Completion Program and Summer Peacebuilding Institute. The rising number of students in the Intensive English Program has also increased demand for smoking areas close to their classes. This addition is not promoted for undergraduate student use, however. One tenet of the Community Lifestyle Commitment states, “Recognizing that EMU supports nonuse of alcohol and tobacco, I will respect and abide by the university policy that prohibits the use of alcohol and tobacco on campus or at university functions.” Kurtz recognizes the possibility that students are receiving mixed messages about tobacco. “Officially our policy is ‘no tobacco on campus,’ but we have made some accommodations and continue in discussion about how best to deal with the challenge.”
-Adam Posey, Staff Writer and Randi B. Hagi, Co-Editor In Chief; photo credit, Alicia Calkins