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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
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I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Pizza Cat Vol. 10
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererApril 23, 2024

Meyland works to solve cigarette smoke problems

Last year, as discussions of a proposed campus-wide smoking ban took place, students in Meyland Hall were quietly going about their day. They didn’t need to concern themselves with the issue of smoking on campus.

They’d already figured out their own solution to that particular problem three years ago.

Instead of sticking with the designated 30-foot rule, which is the current campus smoking policy, Meyland Hall residents decided to assign some of their doors as smoking, and other as non-smoking. Residents are still encouraged to stay 30 feet away from the building at smoking entrances.

“I think they’ve come up with a pretty creative solution to a problem that plagues most buildings on campus,” said Carl Holm, director of Housing and Residence Life. “They’re sharing consideration for people who smoke, and the smokers are being asked to be at least as considerate.”

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The 30-foot rule was first established in May of 2002, after several people complained about smoking taking place directly outside of campus buildings. Some of the smoke was being sucked into the buildings through air intake units, and a committee, which was established to form a solution to the problem, decided on a 30-foot rule to keep cigarette smoke away from the building.

However, it is difficult to enforce this rule across campus, and often, people can be found smoking close to campus buildings.

Lt. Don Peterman of Public Safety said he and his fellow officers try to enforce the rule whenever they see it being broken.

“I just politely let them know, ‘please move outside the zone,’ or put it out,” Peterman said. “It’s never been a problem. Sometimes, a person doesn’t really even consciously think about how far 30 feet is.”

Even with the 30-foot rule, Meyland Hall still had smoke filtering in through air intake units that caused the residents to make their own smoking rule, which was re-voted on during a hall meeting last week. The non-smoking doors are those near air-intake vents.

Meyland Resident Advisor Corey Cameron said that though not all of Meyland’s residents showed up to the meeting, most of the attendants voted to keep the hall’s unique smoking policy. He added that this policy could be useful not just in his dorm, but across campus.

“I think it would be a good idea for campus,” he said. “The 30-foot rule, we can’t really enforce that.”

In fact, Holm said he doesn’t require resident advisors to actively enforce the rule.

“If RAs see this as an issue, they’re going to step outside and say, ‘Move away’,” Holm said. “But they’ve got so many other things to do. I really think it gets down to people being considerate of one another.”

Cameron said if he sees a resident smoking by a non-smoking door, he would be able to write that student up. However, he has yet to exercise that power.

So far, the Meyland smoking policy has been effective because it was the students who put it together, Holm said.

“They came up with the solution, and I think that’s why it worked,” he said. “I think the success is that it’s theirs.”

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