President Alexander Gonzalez signed a policy Thursday that will make Sacramento State the first California State University tobacco-free campus, effective fall 2015.
Gonzalez signed the policy inside the Strategic Planning and Management class, a communication studies course in which the 71 students undertook a project to research and recommend a healthier campus.
Launching an awareness campaign on campus and through social media, the Hornets for a Healthy Hive advocated for Gonzalez to sign the policy and served as the voice for students who wanted a tobacco-free campus.
“We were really excited to see President Alexander Gonzalez support this tobacco-free policy,” said Campaign Director Walter Michael. “It is a huge step for Sacramento State as we are setting the trend for the rest of the California State University system.”
According to a spring 2013 ASI poll, 72.9 percent of the students who voted wanted a smoke-free campus. Out of those who voted for the smoke-free campus, 71.3 percent wanted a smoke and tobacco-free campus.
Gonzalez also requested the campus community be informed of the upcoming change through an information campaign, and directed the Division of Administrative and Business Affairs to collaborate with campus stakeholders to draft an official tobacco-free policy.
According to the tobacco policy memorandum, upon final presidential approval, all tobacco use “will be prohibited on or in university buildings, grounds, leased spaces and vehicles.”
The current policy prohibits smoking within 20 feet from buildings and in major walkways, but the Campus Policy Tobacco Task Force, a committee formed by Gonzalez last spring, found the policy to be largely ineffective.
Even though the task force recommended a tobacco-free campus, Gonzalez made no official decision, inspiring the students within the communication studies class the to “finish the job,” Michael said.
“I was very pleased to get people to support the issue,” Michael said. “We held two open halls showing student’s concerns. Without that and without this campaign, we probably would have a campus without direction. What the Hornets for a Healthy Hive did was put out exposure to the issue.”