Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚  MARQUETTE  – Northern Michigan University is moving toward the goal of having completely smoke-free residence halls by designating two additional residence halls as entirely smoke free and allowing smoking only in very limited areas of the remaining five buildings as of the beginning of the upcoming fall semester.

Carl Holm, director of housing and residence life, said the change in the UniversityÂ’s smoking policy was presented to the NMU PresidentÂ’s Council earlier in March and recently approved by NMU President Judi Bailey.

Payne and Spalding Halls are the two halls designated to be totally smoke free as of the fall.  Smoking will be prohibited in Gant, Halverson, Hunt, Spooner and West Halls except in a specially ventilated smoking room to be located on the third (and highest) floor of each building. Meyland and Van Antwerp Halls previously were designated as smoke-free residence halls.

Holm cited second-hand smoke health concerns for NMU students who live in and employees who work in the residence halls as a driving force in the policy change.

“We receive numerous complaints each year from students, parents and employees about exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Holm.

Housing and residence life, working with a group of residence hall student leaders, performed a survey of students living in the halls on the issue earlier this semester.  Holm said the reason that Payne and Spalding were chosen to go totally smoke free first is that about 80 percent of the residents of those two buildings supported the initiative to go smoke free.  Overall, 48.8 percent of current occupants supported prohibiting smoking in the residence halls, 32.2 percent did not support the initiative and 19 percent indicated that they did not care one way or the other.

“Currently, smoking is prohibited in all other NMU facilities except for designated areas with the exception of the university’s residence halls and apartments. Because of the health issues involved, it is our goal to have all NMU residence halls smoke free at some point in the future,” said Holm.

Holm added that enforcement of violations will be the same as for all other university regulations and policies. Â Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚   Â Ã‚ Ã‚ 

Two Michigan universities, Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State, prohibit smoking in the residence halls while the University of Michigan and Ferris State University announced earlier this year that they would have smoke-free residence halls beginning with the fall semester.

Prepared By
Cindy Paavola
Director of Communications