Should Victoria University go smokefree?
Victoria University's plan to extinguish smoking on campus has prompting predictions of stressed students spilling on to public streets for a cigarette.
The proposal would extend the existing ban on smoking inside university property to within three metres of a building and cover the entire campus.
The university says a smokefree policy would create a healthier learning environment, but students have questioned how the ban will be enforced.
Students and staff have been asked for submissions on the extension to the university's Safe Campus policy, which would affect all four campuses - Kelburn, Pipitea, Te Aro and Karori.
Most of the 2000 survey responses received so far had backed the ban, Campus Operations associate director Rainsforth Dix said.
If approved, it would probably be implemented in early 2013.
Asked how the proposal would be enforced, Ms Dix said the university's focus would be on "educating people" about the new rule.
Students or staff craving a cigarette would have to move on to public land - such as Kelburn Pde or Cobblestone Park, outside the Te Aro campus in Vivian St.
Asher Emanuel, 20, a smoker and co-editor of the student magazine Salient, said the proposed policy did not respect all students' needs.
"This ban's not going to make them give up smoking, or provide great benefits to other students," he said.
"It's just going to make a whole lot of stressed people go to Kelburn Pde to have their cigarette."
"From my experience at Kelburn campus, all of the smokers are courteous. They don't smoke in areas where non-smokers can't avoid them."
The proposed ban would also extend to campus restaurant Milk & Honey and to The Hunter Lounge, both of which are used as dining and events venues by the general public, as well as to halls of residence, which can house up to 2600 students.
Auckland University became smokefree in 2010, and registrar Tim Greville said the policy had made a "noticeable difference on campuses", even though it was not actively enforced.
"We specifically encourage collegial policing; we do not have, and will not have, ‘smoking police'.
"This light-handed approach has been most appropriate and successful to the point that it is not even controversial that all our campuses are smokefree."
Canterbury University and AUT University are also smokefree. Massey University's grounds are smokefree, except for designated smoking areas.
Submissions on Victoria University's proposal close on August 31. A decision is expected within three months.
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