UW-Stout may start smoking fines come fall

(WEAU) - The Director of Communications at UW-Stout says the Chancellor may either implement fines or even hire someone to monitor campus to stop smokers.

The Chancellor is having a meeting on Friday morning with the UW legal system to discuss these options.

Tobacco free is what the UW-Stout campus has been since 2010.
It's the only four year public school in Wisconsin to have a tobacco free campus.

But people are still choosing to smoke.

"I'm getting emails, the chancellor is getting complaints our students have said they want us to do something about the people who choose not to comply," said Doug Mell, Director of Communications at UW-Stout in a phone interview.

The Chancellor informed students and faculty on Facebook to try and stop.

"I have been told by certain students who choose not to comply with this that were going to keep violating the policy until you start fining us," said Mell.

Meanwhile a local attorney says the campus should have the right to write citations to the public if smoking on campus.

"The UW system shouldn't have jurisdiction over public sidewalks, so you could see large groups of smokers smoking and saying na na na na, can't fine me" said attorney Harry Hertel.

Students say smokers can often be found in an alley on campus and there were even cigarettes on the ground to prove it

But, if the Chancellor's policies go through and they are found smoking there will be consequences.

"I'm really opposed to it, I feel like if a student or a faculty member, staff member want to engage in smoking then they should be able to in public areas," said Jocelyn MacAskill.

"I have asthma so one of the biggest things for me is having to deal with people who are smokers around me," said Randy Lim.

UW-Stout leaders say they may never get 100 percent of people to stop, but they feel its important to do as much as they can to encourage as much compliance as possible

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  • by Dee Location: Stout on Apr 12, 2012 at 09:38 AM
    The problem is the cigarette butts disposed of everywhere around campus--on the ground. The smokers are inconsiderate and rude. Just walk past the dorms and see the ground littered everywhere-its a horrible eye sore. Would most people consider dropping all their garbage directly on the ground as they walk to class/work? No. I don't think this would have been an issue if the smokers would pick up after themselves.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2012 at 07:12 AM
    I am not attending Stout nor am I LGBT but am fairly sure I am not the only one who finds this comment posted by "Alumni" on 4/11 offensive..."Funny, LGBT and other strange life styles are actively promoted by UW-Stout,..." Strange is a poor choice of words, alternative might be a better choice. Strange is in the eye of the beholder. Also, the word promoted is most likely not accurate. Supported is the better choice.
  • by Brian Location: Bloomer on Apr 12, 2012 at 05:25 AM
    I am not a smoker and don't like to be around cigarette smoke. However, this is yet another example of our trend towards becoming a totalitarian nation. Too much micromanagement of our lives. These are adults, smoking is legal, and they are paying to be there. If administrators really wanted to improve health and save lives, they could make it an alcohol free campus (not that I'm promoting that either) but that is not politically correct.
  • by Victoria Location: Eau Claire on Apr 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM
    It's about time. If there is any group of people that should know better it's young educated people. Smoking started in the early 1900s. Most smokers are over 60. Everybody else has had enough sense to quit or better yet never start.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 06:39 PM
    Smoking is still a legal activity in this country isn't it?
  • by Mike on Apr 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
    They need to start issuing fines!!! Everyone smokes.
  • by Geo Location: Eau Claire on Apr 11, 2012 at 04:45 PM
    There are better universities in Wisconsin.
  • by alumni Location: WI on Apr 11, 2012 at 04:37 PM
    First you require freshman to live in the dorms, then you mandate no smoking on campus. Now you want to fine them. You make criminals out of students and employees by demanding that everyone live according to your perfect rules. I disagree with fines. Smoking outside yes, but not inside. Many businesses downtown don't allow smoking inside but outside is legal. Why does UW-Stout think that they are better than the community around them? Yes, I am a non-smoker, but I disagree with the way you make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens! Funny, LGBT and other strange life styles are actively promoted by UW-Stout, but if you light up a cigarette on campus you are a criminal! What does that message say to the world (and to potential new students)? You want to promote and grow the campus, but you have a strange way of sabotaging your own progress!!!!!!!!!!!
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