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Southeast To Reconsider Smoking Policy

Missouri's cigarette tax is currently one of the lowest in the country.

When walking around Southeast Missouri State University’s campus students and faculty may notice the designated areas made specifically for smokers to light up without worry. That could all change if the university's Tobacco Use In The Workplace Committee chooses to alter the university's current smoking policy. Committee members are conducting a survey to gauge the community's feedback about a new smoking policy.  

The policy was enacted in 2009 and has since received both positive and negative feedback. With this new survey the Tobacco Use In The Workplace Committee is hoping to get the opinions of the whole campus and their thoughts on how policy regarding smoking should be handled. There are several options for a new policy, including a complete campus-wide smoking ban.

“Currently it’s everyone’s responsibility on campus to help enforce the policy. So we ask that people remind each other that you need to use the outdoor designated areas,” Assistant Director of Human Resources Alissa Vandeven said.    

If a student is repeatedly reminded and continues to smoke in non-designated areas they can be sent to the Southeast Judicial Board and possibly face a fine or other consequences. With a faculty member the situation is handled a bit differently - the faculty member in question is sent to the Human Resources office.

The survey began on Jan. 27 and will end Feb. 26. After the results are compiled they will be analyzed by Southeast’s Institutional Research department. According to Vandeven, soon after the data is evaluated the committee will meet with the Administrative Council and either suggest changes to the current policy or help to construct a new one. Committee members will also meet with various student, faculty and staff constituent groups around campus to gather more feedback and encourage overall survey participation.

“We’ve had meetings already with Student Government, but we’re going to various areas to actually have conversations with groups to further promote the survey and also get additional feedback verbally that we can take back to our committee,” Vandeven said.  

The committee has 13 members who are all active within the Southeast community. People can voice their opinions through this survey, and by contacting committee members directly. This information can be found on the Human Resources site.  

“We are tasked with getting input from the campus and evaluating that information. I encourage students and all employees to take the survey. Anyway we can get feedback that would be great,” Vandeven said.


For more questions or additional comments regarding the survey, students and faculty are encouraged to contact Alissa Vandeven, Committee chair, at avandeven@semo.edu.