A Message for our Campus Community:
Thank you for supporting and participating in our Help Make CSUN Shine Bright program. Your contributions have truly made CSUN Shine, helping us to "Clear the Air." In Fall 2013, the Help Make CSUN Shine Bright program had asked the campus community if CSUN should become smoke-free. Your responses, input, and feedback, which strongly supported fresh air at CSUN, led to the appointment of the Task Force on Becoming a Smoke-Free Campus in 2013-14 which was asked to study your input and explore the issue. Chaired by Dr. Linda Reid-Chassiakos, Director of the Klotz Student Health Center, and Professor Diane Schwartz, Department of Computer Science, the Task Force included the Associated Students President, smoking and non-smoking faculty, staff, and union representatives. As a result of the Task Force's research and recommendations provided to me in May 2014, as well as after considering input obtained from other consultations within the CSU and our sister campuses, I announced in my convocation address this past August my desire for CSUN to become a smoke-free campus as of Fall 2015, so as to promote the health and safety of our campus community.
I wish to formally announce the university's goal to be smoke-free and tobacco-free, and to update you on our plans to implement our new policy for a cleaner and healthier smoke-free environment at the start of Fall semester. As we move forward with this process, we will of course be meeting with our union partners and student leadership on the impacts of the policy.
I recognize that this change may be difficult for some members of our campus community. As we are seeing at other universities and organizations nationwide, however, smoke-free campuses have become prevalent and have gained broad support and momentum because of the benefits a healthier, smoke-free lifestyle brings to entire campus communities. In fact, this issue is currently being explored on a systemwide basis for the entire CSU by the Chancellor's Office Smoke Free Workgroup.
To ensure a smooth transition to fresh air here at CSUN, Dr. Reid-Chassiakos and Mr. Ken Rosenthal, Associate Vice President for Facilities Development and Operations, are co-chairing a dynamic steering committee which brings together campus leaders and relevant stakeholders to guide the smoke-free policy implementation, to identify resources for focused education and smoking cessation, and to work with students, faculty, staff, and our neighbors in promoting a healthier and cleaner environment.
I sincerely hope our new policy at CSUN offers our students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to assess their personal lifestyle choices, and take advantage of the many resources available that can promote a healthier environment for all Matadors. For example, the Klotz Student Health Center currently offers a full range of comprehensive smoking cessation programs for students and, in conjunction with Human Resources, provides employees with smoking-cessation education programming and counseling that may assist Matadors who choose to quit or reduce their tobacco use and improve their health.
Please stay tuned for more information on CSUN's smoke-free and tobacco-free initiative in the coming weeks and months.
Again, my thanks to everyone who weighed in on this issue and particularly to the Task Force co-chairs and members for their outstanding work. All your efforts and contributions have helped CSUN truly and literally SHINE.
Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.