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When students and staff return to Weatherford College for the fall semester, they'll notice a big change.
WC is now tobacco free on each of its campuses in Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Decatur.
“I think it’s about having a healthier environment on campus for everyone,” said Dr. Kevin Eaton, WC president.
The ban includes all types of tobacco, including chew, dip, or cigarettes and cigars and will be effective through the fall 2010 semester, with a more permanent prohibition pending official approval by the WC Board of Trustees.
Eaton says a committee was appointed to investigate a smoke-free environment, and its members conducted several campus surveys among faculty, staff and students. The results favored a tobacco-free campus.
“The Smoke/Tobacco-Free Committee felt that the health and wellness of our campus community would benefit by moving toward a tobacco-free environment, and administration supported this philosophy,” said Christel Brenner, respiratory instructor and chair of the committee.
The rules do not apply only to students; the use of any sort of tobacco is prohibited on campus by faculty, staff members and visitors, as well, and pertains to all College facilities, including the Education Center at Mineral Wells and Wise County campus now located in temporary facilities in Decatur.
College officials acknowledge that it is a big a change for some, but say they believe a healthier college all around will create a more appealing and positive college experience.
As the plan is implemented, said Dr. Don Tomas, WC senior vice president of instruction, “we will define and refine the boundaries and limitations inherent in such a ban, and that will take time. I am sure that much leeway will be granted until we get the solid policy in place and approved by our board.”
The first day of fall classes at WC is Monday, August 30.