UNL to look at smoke-free campus - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UNL to look at smoke-free campus

UNL to look at smoke-free campus

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is entertaining the idea of becoming a smoke free campus.

"I think it creates a better positive experience for visitors and students at that campus to not have to deal with the smells of smoke or seeing cigarette butts on the ground," student senator Scott Schenkelberg, who submitted the proposal to Association of Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN), said.

Right now, UNL is the only University of Nebraska campus to not have a smoke-free policy.

UNL is also one of only three campuses in the Big 10 that hasn’t banned smoking.

The proposal would prohibit all smoke producing tobacco campus wide. That would also include e–cigarettes.

The University's current policy bans those products inside and within 10 feet of its buildings.

Next week, student government is sending out a survey to students and faculty to gauge how the proposed change would be received.

"Its very much peer led. Its peer enforced,” Schenkelberg said. “Its a matter of just being cognizant of what's going on and letting them know hey this is against the rules would you mind putting out your cigarette."

Student body president Spencer Hartman says one thing the policy wouldn't change, if implemented, is how Husker football game day is handled.

Smoking is already banned inside memorial stadium, but enforcing the potential change with non–students would go against state law.

"[It wouldn’t apply to] the 30,000 fans that walk through the union to get a Runza before heading to the stadium,” Hartman said. “They smoke a cigarette between here and the stadium; as long as you're within 10 feet of the building you would be abiding by state law and would not be able to have any punishment."

There are two big points of emphasis here: this change would be a policy change, and not a law.

It's also important to note only smoke producing tobacco is addressed. Smokeless tobacco would not be regulated under this proposal.

Administrators and student leaders are waiting to see the feedback students and staff provide.

If a policy is implemented, it wouldn't be until next fall.

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