Stewards will be used to enforce smoking ban after all
The UG has been preparing for the ban over the past few years by creating specific smoking zones near the university buildings. These zones will now be removed.
Smokers who light up anyway will be admonished by a steward. In the city centre, the university will use its own stewards, while at Zernike they’ll be collaborating with the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and 4GS. They’ve set up a work placement company to employ students from the security study programme at the Noorderpoort College. Six students will patrol four days a week to enforce the ban.
Last year, board president Jouke de Vries said he wasn’t in favour of a ‘smoking police’. He’d prefer if everyone stepped up and talk to smokers who are lighting up in places they’re not allowed to.
One thorny issue is the public areas in between the UG buildings, like the Broerstraat in between the University library and the Academy building, and the bicycle path and roads at the Zernike campus. The UG is in talks with the city about a ‘practical enforcement solution’ in these areas.
One option is a local ban, enforced through a municipal bylaw. When asked, a UG spokesperson could not confirm whether that’s what they’re thinking of.
The UG hopes that in five years, there will be a new student generation for whom a smoking ban on university property is commonplace. They’d also like to create a culture where students and lecturers point out the smoking ban to each other.
When the smoking ban goes into effect, the university will make extra efforts to communicate it. They’ll also promote the campaign ‘Stoptober’. On top of that, the free courses to help people quit smoking will be available to students as well as staff starting next academic year.