As has been reported in other, lesser student publications, the Faculty Senate voted in December 2015 to approve a tobacco ban on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.
A late January 2016 Undergraduate Student Government meeting addressed student concerns over the policy, with further clarification that e-cigarettes and vaporizers would be banned and patches and other cessation devices would not be.
While a final list of tobacco products to be banned had not yet been determined nor was an enforcement policy drafted at the time (not to mention the realization that the university has no jurisdiction over tobacco usage on the numerous city-owned sidewalks and roadways circling around and cutting through campus), the policy still passed the Faculty Senate and seemed to be en route for enactment.
With the process being delayed after calls for a USG student referendum, I think it’s time to step back and reassess the scope of the proposal as a whole. Namely: it doesn’t go far enough.
Since the university has taken up the task of regulating legal behaviors on campus, it’s high time we consider becoming a dry campus. A ban on alcohol would have a whole string of benefits: underage drinking would dramatically decrease, vandalism would be reduced if not eliminated and hospital transports would decline.
To give more specifics, this proposal is calling for a total ban on alcohol. From beer to Everclear, alcohol will be banned on campus grounds and in campus buildings (including chemistry and biology labs), even for those over 21. Of course, this may require modifying the offerings of several campus food and drink establishments or else closing them down for compliance sake.
Enforcement is a tricky topic. Some propose designated drinking areas but I advocate instead for a complete ban as the only effective method; citations would be issued to those in possession of or consuming alcohol. The proposal also calls for the university to erect approximately $30,000 worth of signage along pathways and outside buildings reminding students that this is an alcohol-free campus.
Think of the upsides: Prospective students will flock to CWRU once they hear about our strict ban on tobacco and alcohol. Current students will also have more time to study and go to university-approved parties (students can apply to have their party marked with a green check indicating it has been reviewed and authorized by the university) rather than utilize alcohol to “relax” or “have a good time.”
After all, when has banning something ever not worked?