At the start of next month, people will no longer be able to smoke in front of the UB or on the steps of the Academy building. The UG will enforce the smoking ban per October 1.
Smoking on UG premises has been banned since August 2020, but the pandemic interfered with the enforcement of the ban. That’s now going to change, and not just because the UG is risking a fine of 600 euros if they’re found to be in violation, a fine that can rise up to 4,500 euros if the violation is repeated.
‘We support the smoke-free generation campaign’, said UG board president Jouke de Vries during a university council meeting with the board committee.
People who currently work at the UG to supplement their benefits will enforce the ban in the city centre. The Zernike campus employs six student enforcers from the Noorderpoort college.
The university also has agreements with the city. While smoking in front of the Academy building and the UB is banned, the street between the two buildings belongs to the city. ‘We made a deal with the city that we can enforce the ban across the whole street’, said De Vries.
The UG won’t be able to do anything if people step off the street, though. ‘But in general, students abide by the rules when we tell them to’, said De Vries.
The UG has decided to enforce in the strictest way possible, which means they won’t just ask people to leave when they’re caught smoking. ‘Students and staff who are smoking will be addressed and asked for their personal information’, said the board president.
This information will then be relayed to the faculty board or management, who will then talk to the student or employee. Should a fine be issued, the university will pay it. ‘Unless the fine is clearly the fault of a single association, party, or department. Then we’ll have a discussion to see if there’s anything we can do to change the situation.’
The UG board of directors is aware students and staff members can’t be forced to surrender their personal information. ‘We must make sure to communicate clearly’, said De Vries. The university has talked to a GDPR expert about the planned measures. They also still have to work out who will be handing the personal information and how long it will be stored.