FM Staff Prepare for Smoke and Tobacco-free Campus

On July 1, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus will become smoke and tobacco-free, and Facilities Management staff are playing an important role in preparing the campus for this transition.

This spring Landcare began the long process of locating and removing all of the ash urns from campus. Throughout the campus there are roughly 250 ash urns and the Landcare team has removed all of them with the majority being taken out in the last two weeks. Litter from tobacco products are a significant grounds keeping and cleanup expense at the University, therefore the smoke and tobacco-free policy will greatly reduce the amount of litter Landcare is responsible for cleaning up.

"Removing the ash urns from University grounds will be an obvious sign that smoking is not allowed on the campus, "said Julie Sanem, Associate Program Director at Boynton Health Services and a member of the policy implementation team.

The Sign Shop has also been busy helping prepare for implementation of the new policy. To communicate the change the University has created the Share the Air campaign and the Sign Shop is creating signage in line with the campaign materials that will be placed at campus and building entrances. "We are adding a "Share the Air" sign below the preexisting metal signs at the entrances to the University of Minnesota campus," said Scott Saunders, Sign Shop Supervisor. Window clings will also be applied on building entrances and exits, and free standing signs will be placed at other key points.

"We've identified 27 locations around campus where people would be likely to use tobacco and it is difficult to police," said Saunders. "The signs will act as a reminder to students, faculty, and visitors who may be unaware of the smoke-free policy."

The policy was developed with support from the University Senate, over 20 student and employee groups, and President Kaler. The Crookston, Duluth, and Rochester campuses will also follow the new smoke and tobacco-free policy on July 1. The policy's goal is to create a cleaner and healthier environment that is inclusive to everyone. Sanem said the smoke and tobacco-free policy will hopefully convince some students and faculty members to quit the habit, and quitting resources will be available at along with tips for enforcing the policy around campus.

Staff using a dolly to take away an urn from in front of the building

Staff rolling an urn away from the buildingStaff putting the urn on a front end loader

Piles of no longer used ash urns