By Karly Sacco
Benedictine University’s Lisle campus has begun their investigation stage in becoming smoke-free, according to Linda Owens, Associate Dean for Student Development.
The Springfield Campus of Benedictine University has already become smoke-free. Springfield’s policy went into effect on August 1, 2014, according to the Benedictine University’s Springfield website.
The Student Government Association presented the smoke-free policy to the president of their campus last
year and steps were then made in order to make the decision to become a smoke-free campus, according to the Benedictine University’s Springfield website.
Owens has become involved with the beginning process of determining whether or not the Lisle campus will become smoke-free, joining Springfield.
“It is not only Benedictine’s Springfield campus, as of this summer, Illinois state schools were mandated by law to become smoke free,” said Owens.
According to a bill that was sent out on June 23, 2014 to the Governor, smoking has become prohibited on each campus of a State-supported institution of higher education on July 1, 2014.
After becoming aware of the number of schools, private and public, becoming smoke-free, Owens sought further information on the topic.
“I became aware that a few local schools such as Aurora University and College of DuPage have become smoke-free recently as well. As a part of the Early Alert Team, which is a team of faculty and staff that try to intervene and help important issues going on around campus, I felt the need to start talking to different people to see who I needed to speak with to see what it would take to make this campus smoke-free.” said Owens.
Benedictine University faculty is not the only influence involved with trying to make changes to the Lisle campus.
“Benedictine University alumni, Rebecca Carlstrom, conducted a survey titled that she sent to some members for the Benedictine community to take so she can gather results on this topic,” said Owens.
The survey presented that 55 percent strongly agree with having a tobacco-free campus at Benedictine University, 25 percent agree, 12 percent disagree, and 8 percent strongly disagree.
“However, this survey illustrates that there is a difference between smoke-free, and tobacco-free,” said Owens.
According to the Benedictine University’s Springfield website, only products that produce smoke or vapors are considered a violation of the policy, so chewing tobacco is not considered breaking this rule.
The campus is completely smoke-free, but there is an exception.
Students at the Springfield campus will only be allowed to smoke in the driver or passenger area of their personal vehicle, according to the Benedictine University’s Springfield website.
“The Springfield campus was fair enough to say although their campus is smoke-free, students can still smoke in their own cars as long as they dispose of their trash afterwards,” said Owens.
Keep a look out for more news on Benedictine University’s Lisle campus developing investigation about becoming a smoke-free school.