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PSU and Portland Parks Bureau consider smoking ban for campus Park Blocks
Author: by Chase Hall, The Oregonian
Posted: July 31, 2012

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Portland State University has started talks with Portland Parks & Recreation about limiting or prohibiting tobacco use in the South Park Blocks that run through the center of campus

Representatives of both said the talks are in early stages. Parks Bureau spokesman Mark Ross said that because the Park Blocks are public space, the bureau will seek public input beyond that of PSU students and faculty. 

"We're going to investigate this further and see how we can make everyone happy," Ross said, noting there's no timeline. 

Separately, PSU administrators are considering  student and faculty complaints about smoking in high-traffic breezeways between buildings, spokesman Scott Gallagher said. 

"We take their concerns seriously," Gallagher said. "And just as much as people want to smoke there, it's part of our greater mission to keep our students healthy." 

PSU already prohibits smoking within 25 feet of building entrances, in university housing and in most enclosed spaces on campus. Other Oregon colleges -- including Portland Community College, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University's Corvallis campus and Oregon Health & Science University -- have gone completely smoke-free. 

The Parks Bureau has banished smoking from two city parks: downtown's Pioneer Courthouse Square and Director Park. Smoking is allowed in other parks as long as it's at least 25 feet from a play area or picnic table. 

"It's too early to speculate what this might look like," Ross said of the potential ban at the campus Park Blocks. "This is a rare confluence of parks and PSU campus, so it's an interesting situation for us."