Ryan Lombardi, interim vice president for student affairs
Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing
Nov 1, 2012
By Tessa Dufresne
In an effort to address the health-related risks of tobacco usage in college environments, the Ohio Board of Regents recommended in July 2012 that each board of trustees in the University System of Ohio consider implementing a tobacco-free policy.
Ohio University will begin the necessary steps to examine the effects of an on-campus tobacco ban by launching a Tobacco Free Task Force, which includes committee members such as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi, Ohio University Chief of Police Andrew Powers and Student Trustee Amanda Roden, among other campus representatives and an Athens community delegate. The first meeting will be Monday, Nov. 5.
"The introductory meeting will allow us the opportunity to brainstorm how we want to accomplish our goals," Lombardi said. "Gathering plenty of data and information about the implications of developing
a policy is essential, and really getting the sentiment of campus – students, faculty and staff as well as community members who might come to campus for events."
The task force plans to consider the lessons of other universities who have enacted tobacco-free policies, such as Hocking College and Ohio Dominican University, as well as the pricing and plans of cessation programs that help individuals quit using tobacco, which will be important for faculty and staff members working on campus. The body will also collect survey data about current tobacco usage
and usage patterns at OHIO, as that influences the impact tobacco has on the campus setting.
However, the task force is most eager to receive qualitative information from the campus body.
"The task force really wants feedback, we want input," said Lombardi. "Please do not be shy about being open and sharing your opinion."
Lombardi said the task force will host several open forums for students, faculty, staff and community members to solicit conversation about the potential policy.
The Tobacco Free Task Force anticipates presenting a recommendation to the Ohio University Board of Trustees by the end of the 2012-13 academic year. While the board could vote to adopt the proposal immediately, Lombardi said the research and data that is set to be accumulated will provide the most realistic timeline for implementation.
The Tobacco Free Task Force is interested in your opinion. To share your view on a tobacco-free campus policy, please contact one of the following committee members:
Ryan Lombardi -- Task Force chair
Suzanne Holt Ballard
Mary Kate Gallagher
Krista McCallum Beatty