Story by ELLEN BECKER, Managing Editor—
The UCM Board of Governors approved a new policy to make UCM a tobacco-free institution by July 2014, at its Nov. 16 meeting.
UCM will begin implementing the new policy in January 2014. This will be the first revision since 2005, when an updated policy prohibited all tobacco use indoors and permits smoking only in designated areas throughout campus.
There will be a six-month initiation period for education, distribution of information, and opportunities for individuals who want to stop using tobacco to take advantage of low-cost cessation resources, according to a press release. More information on tobacco cessation can be found at ucmo.edu/vsap/cessation.
The new policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products, which include traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookah, water pipes and all other forms of smoke-generating products, chew, snus and snuff, or any nicotine delivery method not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as nicotine replacement therapy.
The new policy also states that tobacco use is prohibited in all university-owned, leased or controlled buildings and residences. It is prohibited in all outdoor areas of UCM campuses.
Exemptions include personal vehicles, the Keth Memorial Golf Course range and parking lots during designated public events such as commencement, sporting or performing arts events.
In 2011, a tobacco policy committee was appointed by President Charles Ambrose to review the current tobacco policy for its effectiveness in achieving its stated purpose, which according to the proposal brought before the board is, “to promote the health of the university community, to preserve and protect university property, and to provide a clean and safe environment to study, work and learn.”
For the past year, the 11-member committee, which is made up of smokers, former smokers and non-smokers of the UCM community, has been working to assess the policy through the eyes of students, faculty and staff.
The assessment also included local and national tobacco policy trends for universities, evidence-based practices for enforcing tobacco policy, and cessation.
In October 2011, the committee surveyed 1,983 members of the UCM community, and the results showed that the majority of respondents preferred entirely smoke-free indoors and outdoors.
In April 2012, the SGA released a smoke-free resolution, in which it was resolved that a smoke-free campus policy go into effect in 2013.
With the new policy, UCM will become one of 825 colleges and universities nationwide that have indoor and outdoor smoke-free policies, one of 608 campuses that are tobacco free, and one of 12 Missouri public and private colleges and university campuses that have adopted tobacco-free policies, according to a press release.
For more information about the policy and implementation plan, contact VSAP director Amy Kiger at 660-543-8338.
In its meeting, the Board of Governors also approved the purchase and installation of residence hall furniture for the Fraternity Complex, Panhellenic Hall and Yeater Hall in the amount of $276,821.35, which will come from the University Housing Renewals and Replacement budget.
The cost includes the purchase of 348 desks, 348 chairs, 191 dressers and 352 beds, as well as shipping and installation fees.
The replacement of current furniture became a priority because some items are 20 to 30 years old, and are in a state of disrepair.
The Board also approved the purchase of grant-funded high definition field production equipment, accessories and editing equipment for use at KMOS-TV, in the amount of $659,982.26.
According to the approved proposal, UCM’s Broadcasting Services’ goal is to secure in-studio HD production cameras and accessories to support local productions addressing concerns and needs in the UCM and rural communities within the KMOS service area, while providing hands-on experimental learning experiences for UCM students.
The project will be fully funded through a USDA-RUS Public Television Digital Transition Grant Award, FY 2012, requiring no matching dollars from the university.