Smoking out FAU’s new policy

On Friday, Wellness Director Rosemary Dunbar showed up to the Boca House to assure them I was totally wrong about FAU’s forthcoming smoking rules being already planned out.

“Some of you may have heard that we already made the decision [to ban smoking] and you have to go along with it,” said Dunbar. “That’s not true at all.”

She then announced that there would be a “task force” to assess things, and half of its membership would be students.

FAU's Wellness Director Rosemary Dunbar's not joking about smoking, and a light-up could mean a write-up. But who knows? (Not her!)

But there’s no mention of such a task force in the proposed policy statement and implementation plan attached to the legislation last week, nor any mention of it on their website. There is a pre-existing Wellness Task Force which has, at my count, one student member — a grad student. But that’s not what Dunbar was talking about.

“Half of this task force would be made up of students. We will listen to you. This is not rubber-stamped,” said Dunbar, who then went into a persuasive schpiel about how bad smoking is for you, how so many other schools are already changing, and how second-hand smoke is worse than smoking itself.

“We want more students to tell us what you want. This is your world,” she added. But the last thing she said before leaving drew looks of consternation, chuckles, and murmurs of shock from the House:

Smokers do not have rights. We believe a smoker does not have rights.

Nice PR, there.

The “half student” membership thing is standard procedure at FAU; appointed students often make up a small majority of committees that make decisions directly affecting students on campus. This allows the administration to say the student body supports the decisions made, even though every student on a committee would have to be united in opposition to the administrative stance on whatever issue the committee was addressing.

And as my editor has documented of at least one supposedly majority-student committee, reasonable students appointed to the committee don’t always agree. Or care. Or show up. But decisions are made, nonetheless.

So barring a major student outcry on this issue, there probably will be a complete smoking ban on campus next year, and fines for violations —  although Dunbar says “ramifications” are “to be decided.”

Of course, she also said UF would be a model for our policy, and UF’s doesn’t fine people for smoking as the already proposed FAU policy would do. You can compare their policy to the last page of this document and see a clear emulation of UF, with an FAU twist: charging people who already spend too much money on cigarettes. (And speaking of PR moves and cigarette prices, check out this neat UF chart.)

Well, at least we know administrative dealings won’t take place in smoke-filled back rooms anymore.

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One Response to “Smoking out FAU’s new policy”

  1. Smokers don’t have rights?

    It sounds like if it were up to Ms./Mrs. Dunbar FAU would ban everything that is bad for us. FAU would cease selling alcohol on campus and athletic (Football) events. Next they’d take away “unhealthy” foods like Wendy’s, Quiznos, etc. After that FAU would have to place a ban soda/soft drinks (no more soda machines) and caffeine all together (adios Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts). Maybe FAU would also try to eliminate pre-marital sex (oh the horror!). It is possible that they’d even consider ending Wi-Fi because there have been studies linking it to male infertility (http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/community/marc-abrams-walking-man-if/).

    Life is about experiences. Without experiences the longevity is meaningless. Life is also about exercising free-will (so long as in doing so we do not infringe upon the autonomy of others); this is/was precisely why I agreed (in theory) with the “designated smoking areas” that were established on campus. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. Sometimes we are stupid and learn the lesson when it is too late; then there are other times where we are wise enough to learn from the mistakes of others (I never smoked cigarettes because I watched my mother battle with that particular addiction).

    Maybe FAU should cease their exercise classes as well given that just this week a 58 year old physician in pristine health (who walked about 20 miles a day) keeled over (http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/community/marc-abrams-walking-man-if/)? When and where does a person’s right to privacy end? I suppose Ms./Mrs. Dunbar is against a woman’s right to choose as well? Why not?! Abortions aren’t exactly safe (physiologically speaking). hell, I’d bet that sporadic smoking or social drinking is far safer than having an abortion or two.

    What I wouldn’t give to eat a half a pound of bacon while smoking a Churchill blunt, having un-protected sex, and shooting a $20 bag of heroin in between my toes right in front of Ms./Mrs. Dunbar. Why? Because it is my choice. Because it is my life to live (or throw away if I so choose). My point is that students shouldn’t be forced by FAU administrators into becoming robots who are not allowed to choose for themselves.

    I am afraid that Brandon is right; FAU administrators are likely to place easily swayed students on this committee so that their will is exercised under the guise of “the will of the students.” What is sad is that this decision will lead to a decrease in student retention, which will likely result in tuition increases and professors getting laid off.

    So, I propose that IF this proposal moves forward as Ms./Mrs. Dunbar and FAU administrators intend it to AND student retention decreases due to said decision that before FAU increases tuition (again) AND/OR lays any professors off (again) that we instead de-fund Ms./Mrs. Dunbar’s position as well as force these culpable administrators to take a pay cut. If they truly believed in this cause I am sure that they would have no problem sacrificing their jobs AND/OR salaries; unless they are actually politically motivated self-serving mouth-breathers that speak/act without conviction.

    We shall see.

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