New smoking and alcohol use policies

Stricter regulations from the academic senate

The Academic Senate of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) has voted on and established new policies regarding smoking and alcohol consumption on campus. These policies are important to note because being informed can prevent you from getting into trouble if you do decide to engage in these activities.

In addition to CSUMB’s new policies, California law states that individuals must be 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcohol. You must also be 21 years of age or older in order to purchase or consume tobacco products.

CSUMB is considered an alcohol and tobacco-free campus, and the new policies outline this comprehensively. The policies apply to “all students, faculty, staff, alumni, university volunteers, contractors or vendors and visitors to any California State University campus or properties.” This means that the policies are applicable on campuses outside of CSUMB as well.

The new policy defines being “smoke-free” as “the use of cigarettes, pipes, cigars and other ‘smoke’ emanating products including e-cigarettes, vapor devices and other like products.” All of such products “are prohibited on all University properties.”

There are a few exceptions to the smoking policy. In short, these exceptions include “smoking in university-sponsored theater and dance productions,” “the use of of nicotine cessation products…for treating nicotine or tobacco tendencies” and “approved research on tobacco or tobacco-related products.”

One aspect of the smoking policy that caused some debate is the fact that some international students are accustomed to smoking in and around buildings because it is a cultural norm where they are from. Marylou Shockley, a member of the Academic Senate that voted on the policy, says the policy “sends a message…that we take health very seriously.”

The policy is intended to benefit the health of everyone on campus and students may go off campus to smoke if they choose; however, Shockley says the policy should “never encourage [people] to smoke in our brush areas.” Shockley’s statement is in reference to the lack of boundary lines present for students who may smoke to know the University’s boundaries.

Meanwhile, the alcohol-free policy “recognizes that the abuse of alcohol is detrimental to the educational mission of the University” and is also intended to protect the health and well-being of all members of the campus community.

The new policy on alcohol “governs the possession, use, sale and marketing of alcoholic beverages on campus or at any University-sponsored events.” Exceptions to the alcohol policy include “beer and/or wine may be served on special occasions with prior approval at functions sponsored by approved student, faculty, staff or administrative organizations, or by campus-related or off-campus organizations contracting for the use of University
Facilities.” In accordance with state law, you must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol at any such place or event.

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