Starbucks in, tobacco out at Catawba

  • Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:32 a.m.

Members of the Catawba College campus will be drinking Starbucks espressos, frappuccinos, lattes, teas and coffees on campus this fall. This, thanks to a new program, Starbucks We Proudly Brew, to be offered by the college’s food service provider, Chartwells, and approved by trustees at their February meeting.

The space to be used for the Starbucks We Proudly Brew program is upstairs in the Cannon Student Center. The space, now occupied by Mondo Subs, will be renovated into a venue offering Starbucks products and branding, as well as other food and beverage items. The space renovation is planned for the summer.

The Office of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association explored the opportunity to offer this Starbucks program on campus. They conducted student surveys to gauge interest in and support for this initiative.

“We are very excited about what this program will provide for students and others in our campus community,” explained Ben Smith, dean of students. “An overwhelming majority of the students who participated in the surveys supported bringing this program to campus.”

Tobacco ban

Beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, all campus buildings at Catawba will be tobacco-free, instead of just smoke-free. After substantial discussion and reflection on feedback from students, faculty and staff, college trustees approved this change to the college policy at their February meeting.

The new college policy, written in conjunction with N.C. Tobacco Free Colleges Association, is effective in Aug. 1. The delay in implementation will give college officials time to get the word out about smoking and tobacco cessation programs in place and available to members of the college community.

According to President Brien Lewis, trustees seem “very open to continued dialogue on the topic of tobacco use on campus and possible additional steps in the future.”

The new tobacco-free policy prohibits the use of any form of tobacco product, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and smokeless cigarettes in campus buildings. These products may still be used in the designated tobacco-use areas on campus.

To gauge sentiment regarding tobacco use, all members of the campus community had an opportunity in January to both complete an online survey and participate in one of two forums on the issues. The results of the survey and feedback gathered in the forums and via e-mail were compiled and shared with trustees at their February meeting.

Catawba had made a move to smoke-free buildings and a smoke-free environment in all common areas of campus in 2010. With that move, college officials tried to limit the difficulties associated with second-hand smoke by establishing and clearly indicating on campus only a handful of outdoor smoking areas.

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