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New smoking policy begins

Hello again to all RIT parents! We’re well on our way to finishing another busy year and we’re looking forward to the exciting end-of-year activities.

Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President for Student Affairs

Spring fever can sometimes make students lose their focus, not just on their studies, but on some common sense safety measures. RIT is fortunate to be a suburban campus but we are in a major metropolitan area and we have safety and health issues like any other university. The accompanying article tells you about some of the changes we’ve made on campus to ensure our students’ safety.

Another measure we’ve undertaken to protect RIT students is launching a smoke-free living area initiative. Beginning in Fall 2004, RIT will join the more than 30 percent of U.S. universities that maintain smoke-free residence halls, Greek houses and apartment complexes.

Studies show that occasional and ex-smokers are at greatest risk for starting to smoke again in campus environments that allow smoking in dorms and promote the sale of tobacco on campus. In addition, smoking in dorms and tobacco sales has lead to a peer perception on college campuses that smoking rates are much higher than they really are – one study showed that students believed that more than 90 percent of the student body smoked, when in reality only 34 percent were smokers!

RIT and the office of Student Affairs is genuinely concerned about our students’ health. We recognize that it is harder to help someone stop smoking once they’ve started than it is to keep them from starting in the first place. All RIT academic buildings are smoke-free in accordance with recent Monroe County and New York state laws, and we’re adding the living area initiative to help our students stay healthy.

If you have questions about RIT’s smoke-free policy – or any student health and safety issues – please call our office at 585-475-2265.

Mary-Beth Cooper
Vice President for
Student Affairs