MEMBERS PRESENT: :Katrina
Doolittle, Linda Perez, Jose Gamon, Chris Pennise, Missy Giacomelli (for Gregg
Block), Katy Enriquez, Richard Long, Angela Velasco and David Shearer.
The regular Safety Committee Meeting was called to order by Katrina Doolittle,
chair, at 3:35 p.m.. The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously
approved, with the following correction: committee member Leigh’s last name was
misspelled, should be DeRoos and not LeRoos.
Old Business: None.
New Business: Smoking Policy review, revision
or expansion by Katrina Doolittle.
• Katrina Doolittle stated that Ben Woods, VP for Human & Physical Resources,
asked her to revise the current NMSU smoking policy. Katrina stated that she
would like the help of committee members to draft revisions to the current
smoking policy. In the year 2002, Human Resources Department took action to
modify the smoking policy. The draft was presented to Advisory Council on
Administrative Policy (ACAP) in 2003. Comments from ACAP were that building
monitors did not want to have the responsibility of enforcing the policy and
questioned who would collect fines. At the time Bob Howell, Director for Human
Resources, stated that NMSU Police would perform the role of collecting fines
from smoking violators.
• Katrina distributed the current NMSU smoking policy and read a few of the
highlights, stating that the New Mexico Clean Indoor Act is a law and has been
incorporated into the NMSU smoking policy.
• Katrina asked, “where is smoking permitted now on campus?” David Shearer
stated that smoking is permitted at the stadium, it was designated smoking only
in certain parts of the stadium. It was stated that smoking is permitted
anywhere outside. Katy stated that the City of Las Cruces tried to institute a
no smoking area within a 50-foot perimeter from buildings.
• Katrina asked Missy Giacomelli what housing residences permitted smoking?
Missy stated that Rhodes-Garrett-Hamiel Residence Center, Monagle and Garcia
Hall are smoke-free units. She stated that in the other facilities smoking is
allowed as long as everyone in the same residence is a smoker and that in family
housing it is up to the families. Currently in Alumni, Greek, and Family Housing
smoking is permitted based on personal preferences. Buildings that are smoke
free are those where neighbors have direct impact on each other. A public place
of any building is smoke free (laundry room, offices, lobbies, TV room, etc . .
. ). The only place smoking is allowed is individual residences. Katrina asked
Missy if they have a written policy that is handed out to students. Missy stated
that the Housing application indicates the smoke-free areas and if there are
smokers assigned to a smoke-free building they are asked to smoke outside the
residence. Housing has a smoking perimeter of 50 feet from building. Katrina
asked Missy for a copy of the written policy and asked if the policy was in the
student Code Hand Book or if it is something that only apply to housing
residences. Missy stated that she did not know, but would forward a copy to
• Katrina stated that the committee should work to clarify the phrasing
regarding smoking in vehicles. To say something to the effect “that we have a
duty to provide a place of employment without the hazard of second hand smoke.”
Katrina read from other universities policy stating that other universities have
gone the second step to provide smoking areas that are at acceptable distance
from building so people feel more accommodated and will become less of an issue
for enforcement. Katrina stated that she found that 90% to 95% of other
universities prohibited smoking within university building entrances and 95%
identified no smoking in vehicles.
• Katrina stated that the recommended distance for smokers to be from buildings
entrances/exists and ventilation systems should be within reason for the kind of
spaces that have to be accommodated. Linda Perez stated that in Biology there is
only one entrance/exit and that people sit outside the steps to smoke. The
smokers from Biology building have been asked to sit outside the Library where
there are benches.
• Katrina read the building monitors responsibilities from the current policy
and stated that the obligations were too much to ask of them. Linda Perez stated
that as a monitor for two buildings she felt it was not a problem to ask smokers
to refrain from smoking or move away from the building. She stated that once it
is set-up people tend to follow. Katrina made members aware that many of these
monitors are secretaries that have no training for such duties. Katy Enriquez
stated that the Police Department could possibly train building monitors,
because they do not have the man power to respond to smoking restraints. Further
stating that if someone was getting aggressive when asked to move or refrain
from smoking the Police Department would then be forced to respond, because then
it would be interfering with faculty & staff. David asked if someone from a
department called Police to respond to a smoking violation will they respond and
will there be any penalties? Katy stated that they will respond but they will
not arrest anyone for smoking. Katy stated that many smokers, if confronted in a
friendly manner, would be cooperative. David asked Katy “how do we fine someone
on University grounds?” Katy stated that the Police cannot fine anyone. David
asked “how does Police assess traffic parking lot violations. Katy states that
she does not know how that is done, but it should be done by citations. Parking
is separate from Police. David asked “what is a citation?” Katy said it was a
ticket. David asked “what is the ticket against.” Katy stated that it was
against a State Statute, a violation against the law. Katrina curtailed
discussion by reading a section from another university smoking policy that
stated “enforcement will depend upon all members of the campus by encouraging
others to comply” further stating that she read this in many university
• David stated that 50% of people on campus are not employees. He stated that
postgraduate and visiting faculties are causing this problem because often the
countries they come from do not have a problem with this. They may be employees
but there is little that can be done through HR, David stated. Katy stated that
if an individual does not want to move to a designated place, Police can cite
them for public nuisance. Katrina subsequently reviewed the statute and found
that it states “violations of any of the provisions of Clean Indoor Air Act
shall not constitute evidence of negligence nor sustain an action for nuisance”.
• Katrina read the current penalties that are stated in the smoking policy and
asked Katy if these are enforced by Police. Katy stated that in eleven years she
has never been called out for a smoking violation. She stated that the
university cannot fine people, but if they were to take a law enforcement act
against the individual it is done through the courts. Katy stated that if the
Police needed to take a law enforcement action of some type stated in the Clean
Air Act the court fines could come to the fines stated in the smoking policy.
She is not familiar with the state statute regarding fines. Katy will look into
these penalties and forward to Katrina. The stature states “any person who
commits an unlawful act under any provisions of the Clean Indoor Air Act shall
be fined in an amount of not less than $10 or more than $25 for each violation.
• Linda read highlights from the UT Medical Center smoking policy that stated
“employees found smoking in areas other than specifically designated and posted
will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of
employment.” Angela read the smoking compliance and cooperation statements from
Oklahoma’s University for smoking policy. It spoke of courtesy and consideration
in informing others who are in violation of policy and that complaints against
an offender should be referred to the dean, director or manager of the area for
appropriate disciplinary action.
• Katrina stated that one goal for the revision is to offer educational support
to help smokers stop smoking. This type of support is offered though NMSU Health
centers. She would like to incorporate the following comments into the policy
“In light of numerous adverse health effects associated with the act of smoking,
the university will provide education services to faculty, students and staff
about the hazardous of smoking and information services about quitting smoking.”
Compliance and co-operation for penalties to read “Faculty, student and staff
violating this policy are subject to disciplinary action and those having
difficulty complying are asked to seek assistance.”
• Several options were discussed regarding the distance for smokers to maintain
from entries/exits’ and ventilation systems and smoking in University vehicles.
A motion was made to have smokers stand 25 feet from entries/exits’ and
ventilation systems. A second motion was made to have no smoking in NMSU
University vehicles. Both motions were passed by a majority of safety committee
• Katrina, Missy, and Linda Perez will form a subcommittee to draft changes to
the policy. Once the draft is formed, it will be e-mailed to the committee
members for their comments.
Older Business: none
Other Business: none
There being no further discussion the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 P.M.
next University Safety Committee Meeting is to be scheduled.
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