Update – October 10, 2013

on October 10, 2013 in Weekly Update

Hello San Jacinto College Employees –

In a previous email, I outlined some of the issues and concerns brought to me from employees and students around the College smoking policy. The majority of the issues and concerns are regarding the differences in expectations at each campus and the lack of compliance and ability to enforce the policy and guidelines.

In August, the Board of Trustees agreed to suspend the smoking policy and guidelines as they relate to the South Campus. Additionally, the guidelines were modified to provide a consistent approach across the college.

As defined by the new guidelines, San Jacinto College is a smoke-free institution and all College locations will be treated consistently. This means that smoking is prohibited in all buildings and vehicles owned or controlled by the college. Persons wanting to smoke must leave the building or vehicle. Although the cities of Houston and Pasadena prohibit smoking outdoors within 25 ft. of a building entrance and exit doors and wheelchair ramps, San Jacinto College exceeds this requirement at 50 ft.

The guidelines have been updated on the college website.  Here are the links for your information:

Guideline:  http://admin.sanjac.edu/smoke-free-workplace

Policy IV-B-6:   http://admin.sanjac.edu/key-information/policies/policy-iv-b-policies-on-equal-opportunity

Signage has been posted on doors as appropriate. Additionally, smoking areas have been designated at each location. Smoking receptacles have been placed at the designated smoking areas and all smoking materials should be placed in these receptacles.  Here is a link to the campus maps and you will now see on the maps the location of each designated smoking area:

http://www.sanjac.edu/future-students/about-san-jac/why-san-jac/campuses/central-campus

http://www.sanjac.edu/future-students/about-san-jac/why-san-jac/campuses/north-campus

http://www.sanjac.edu/future-students/about-san-jac/why-san-jac/campuses/south-campus

Over the next two semesters, the College will be working to gather input on the creation of a one-college smoking and tobacco policy. The process will include conducting employee and student surveys and focus groups, reviewing practices at other colleges and businesses, and distributing proposed policies and guidelines for input. Your input will be important as we work through this process.

Additionally, I have asked the Student Government Associations and employee groups to assist with this work through the creation of Environmental Health and Safety Smoking and Tobacco Use Task Force. This taskforce will be led by Ginger Lambert, Director of Safety, Health, and Risk Management. It is an ad-hoc group for the purpose of developing a one-college approach regarding smoking and tobacco use across all college campuses and facilities owned or leased by the College, college-owned vehicles, and exterior property such as parking lots and roadways. The charter for this taskforce is attached for your review.

I know there are many different opinions and views on smoking and tobacco. Each of us needs to take responsibility for our actions and be considerate of others. If you smoke, please adhere to these guidelines and be respectful of nonsmokers. If you don’t smoke, please be respectful of the smokers in our community. As employees of San Jacinto College, we set the example for our students and visitors.

Best,

BH

 

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