Officials at Ohio University are considering mandatory classes for students who get caught smoking on campus as part of a draconian ban on smoking for the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year.
The ban will outlaw every use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes on any part of the 1,850-acre public university campus, reports The Athens News, the local newspaper.
Smokers won’t be able to take refuge in any designated smoking areas, either. The ban is utter and total.
Officials at Ohio U. say they hope to enforce the new anti-smoking edict with a “community, Good-Samaritan kind of model.” At the same time, they have also plans for students who refuse to abide by the ban.
Serial smokers who insist of lighting up repeatedly will be sent to the taxpayer-funded school’s Office of Community Standards to “talk to somebody,” said Ryan Lombardi, Ohio University’s vice president for student affairs, according to the News.
Several initiatives are in the works to inform students about the new anti-smoking policy this fall. School health-insurance-covered classes and programs will be available for students who want to kick the habit.
Students who have no desire to kick the habit may also be affected. School officials are also pondering a policy that will force incorrigible users of demon nicotine to enroll in the anti-smoking programs if they get busted smoking too many times on campus.
It’s not clear what the magic number for compulsory re-education would be.
“You don’t need to threaten people with fines,” Lombardi added. “I get it. I don’t want to dismiss that argument as a valid argument, but it also feels like a middle school or high school approach.”
Lombardi also said he doesn’t want the campus to “become a police state” and that students who refuse to be re-educated wouldn’t be expelled.
“I really don’t see this as situation where students have to be separated from the university, or an employee has to be terminated,” the bureaucrat assured the News. “That is not a desired outcome.”
City officials are less than thrilled with the new policy. They fear that the ban will merely drive more smokers and their soon-to-be-littered cigarette butts to the fringes of campus.
“It’s going to drive anybody who chooses to smoke cigarettes out onto the public right-of-way,” griped Athens City Council person Steve Patterson, according to the News.
“We can’t control anything that happens outside of the university grounds,” Lombardi did admit.
Anti-smoking bans are all the rage at colleges and universities across the country. This year, The College Fix notes, Ohio State, San Diego State and every public college in Georgia have instituted such bans.