Survey on WSU Vancouver campus smoking policy is smokin’ hot

The question of whether to continue to allow smoking on the WSU Vancouver campus has been a burning issue among students this fall. An online survey of student opinion is currently underway at http://tinyurl.com/8wu9wbr. The survey will close at noon Nov. 2.

ASWSUV Senator, Matt Wadzita, chairperson of the smoking policy task force and a senior majoring in psychology, said he is impressed by the number of students who responded to the survey so far.

Since it opened on Oct. 15, the survey tool collected 817 student responses.

“Our initial goal was to collect 400 responses,” Wadzita said. “When we saw the turnout, we adjusted our goal to 1,000 responses or one third of the student body.”

The survey was developed by a newly formed ASWSUV task force in response to a request from Chancellor Mel Netzhammer to collect student input on the subject. The task force, composed of representatives from ASWSUV, faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and the Chancellor’s advisory board, will analyze the data and make a final recommendation to Netzhammer by Feb. 1.

The 18-question survey, which takes approximately two to five minutes to complete, was developed with assistance from Wendy Benson, a graduate student in psychology and Mike Morgan, professor of psychology.

Beyond asking whether the responder thinks smoking should be allowed on campus, the survey asks whether and where designated smoking areas should be provided and whether campus should provide smoking cessation programs. Students may opt to write in their own comments at the end of the survey.

The survey is anonymous, but students do need to log in with their WSU network ID to ensure that each student takes the survey only once. Survey takers will be entered into a drawing to win one of five $20 gift certificates to the Bookie.

“We used a variety of methods to publicize the survey, but our biggest push by far was an all-student email. When that went out, the number of students who took the survey went up by 400 percent in eight hours,” Wadzita said.

Wadzita encourages students to take the survey at http://tinyurl.com/8wu9wbr.

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