The Broerplein and Harmonieplein will also become smoke-free
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the GIC, from August 1 the entirety of Zernike Campus will be smoke-free. From the beginning of the new academic year smoking will not be allowed anywhere on ‘school-terrains’. The entirety of the Zernike Campus is a so-called ‘school-terrain’ and so is included within this rule, but people that work in businesses that are situated at Zernike will not have to kowtow to the new rule.
It’s not just Zernike Campus that will be smoke-free, but the Harmonieplein (home to the RUG’s faculty of Arts, and Faculty of Law), and the Broerplein (where the Academy Building and University Library are). The new rule will bring university campuses into line with primary and secondary schools, which will also be made smoke-free from the start of the new school year.
This means that smokers will have to go around the corner from the Broerplein and Harmonieplein in the city centre, but those who wish to smoke and are based at Zernike may face a longer walk to partake.
According to the new law, all educational institutes must enforce the ban themselves. At Zernike, for example, a number of blue “smoke-free” signs have been painted on pavements and cycle paths. Several places have already had a smoking ban in place, but this has not been enforced often. The new law also introduces the ‘smoking steward’, a surely thankless job that will involve uniformed marshalls telling off smoking students.
Secretary of State Paulus Blokhuis (ChristenUnie) of Public Health, Well-being, and Sport has earlier said that he think that “it’s a good thing if we don’t have to hand out any fines” for those breaking the rules, preferring instead that wardens engage with smokers. “And naturally there shouldn’t be inspectors hiding in the bushes during the evenings to make sure that no-one is standing and smoking”, he added.
Various organisations associated with Zernike Campus have said that they support the plans. The businesses themselves don’t need to be afraid of Council enforcers telling off their employees, though, “that’s up to the businesses themselves”, says a spokesperson from the campus. “Naturally this is also a good chance to give it up. All in all, Healthy Ageing is a focus idea for Groningen, and so having a smoke-free campus supports this. If a business also wants to go smoke-free, we will see if we can help them with promotional material and courses”, said the spokesperson.
Now, which of the wardens will be brave enough to tell a student on their fifth exam in a week that they can’t have a quick cigarette before Advanced Statistics?