Eli Ridder | Report
In a late night posting on Thursday, Humber College announced a formal commitment to having a smoke-free campus in a new policy effective on the first day of 2019, which also applies to the University of Guelph-Humber.
The move is part of Humber College’s adoption of the Okanagan Charter that aims to promote healthy universities and colleges, a policy direction announced by President Chris Whitaker earlier this fall.
As part of the college’s goal to become the “healthiest campus in Canada”, the administration wants to enforce a ban on smoking tobacco, cannabis, e-cigarettes and vapes on all Humber property, including the Arboretum.
In support of the decision, Humber College has announced a new Smoke-Free Campus Policy that will apply to the University of Guelph-Humber as well.
Guelph-Humber will be removing all smoking shelters from Humber property by the end of 2018, with some being repurposed as weather shelters at the Queen’s Plate parking lot.
A frequently asked questions section on the Humber website answers “what will students have for stress relief?” by promoting the on-site fitness centres, mood walks and counselling services.
Those who have cannabis for medical reasons will be allowed to continue to consume with “a specified regularity coinciding with a scheduled time on campus” if approved by “subject matter experts” via a request to SWAC.
Students are directed to submit requests for medicinal pot use permission to Jacquelina Anderson of Humber’s Student Wellness and Development, with determinations “made as soon as possible”.
Read the Policy: Humber.ca/cannabis
The new policy comes as post-secondary institutions across Canada cope with the federal government’s legalization of cannabis on Oct. 17, with many taking a similar initial approach as Humber.
At the University of Guelph, the administration is working with students, faculty and staff over the next 12 months to find a solution to cannabis on campus, but for now is employing a ban.
The University of British Columbia will allow marijuana to be smoked on campus in certain areas of campus as the administration is sticking to “evidence-based decision-making”, Hubert Lai told CBC News.
The latest figures posted by the Canadian Cancer Society found 65 out of 250 post-secondary campuses are banning smoking or plan to, leaving those that choose to keep it free to make specific rules for where to smoke.
As for Humber College, and the North Campus Guelph-Humber is located on, there are no public plans in the works for a loosening of the strict ban in the future.
The Avro Post has reached out to comment from IGNITE leadership, the Humber College administration and from the University of Guelph-Humber, but there has not been a response.
Image of Guelph-Humber from The Avro Post.