These questions presented to me about my previous Post are very good questions. So important. I fell they warrant its own post.
“Luke R. McLaughlin says:
This is an extremely interesting article, and as a student of Ball State I have a few follow up questions that might be helpful if clarified.
1. I agree that the roads running through campus are the property of the county, but couldn’t Ball State argue that since all the funding going into maintaining this property (the physical roads and sidewalks) is from Ball State Parking Services they technically have the right to jurisdiction? The police officer rule makes since, because there is no monetary value in their claim, but the fact that all the updates in the past decade have been from Ball State makes me wonder. Just curious if this makes the facts any different. Can BSU makes rules for roads/sidewalks that they maintain?
2. I know a lot of educational facilities across Indiana have a strict no smoking policy that is heavily enforced. Does the 8-foot (sometimes 25-foot) rule still apply in this case? Could I smoke 8-feet from a door at Muncie Central High School if I was standing on a path? Since Ball State is a public university that receives funding from the state, could they not fall back on these non-smoking rules for public schools?
3. Define intimidation. Is creating a rule that is not enforceable intimidation? Is not enforcing the rule you’ve created intimidation? Is simply altering the way people think intimidation or bullying? Unfortunately, people are altered in their decisions every day for rules far less impending than the smoking ban. Ball State has made a possibly not enforceable rule that has helped keep the campus cleaner, more attractive for visiting guests, and more enjoyable for students who don’t smoke. If they stopped them from smoking just off campus then I would say, “This is wrong,” but altering where they partake in the activity seems content neutral. Again, our definition of intimidation and bullying may be entirely different, and thus deem my thoughts incoherent and wrong.
I personally have no preference of where they smoke, and have never seen it as a problem at BSU. I have many friends that smoke, and will continue to smoke. Though I have no personal preference, I know many people do. I like this article, and the results of its relevance could be ground breaking for many of the students, faculty and staff that are smokers on campus. It may effectively reinstate the smoking areas on campus. The roads and sidewalks are the most visible areas for visitors of campus, and keeping them clean should be a top priority for the University. If smokers can use the sidewalks, then the smoking areas should be reopened for use. It would be a step backward, but the correct step if the law currently in place is not punishable in the court of law.”
First off you are mistaken about one thing. Ball States Rule about No Smoking on campus is not a LAW! They can enforce their rules on their campus. I am pointing out that the PUBLIC sidewalks along PUBLIC roads, are actually NOT PART OF CAMPUS, and out of the jurisdiction of their rules.
1. (a) No Ball State can not make rules and enforce their will upon students or the people on public sidewalks, along public roads. It doesn’t matter where the money came from to update, fix, maintain a public road or sidewalk. It is still a Public road.
1. (b) (explained in example form) If you had chosen to update and maintain a public road in front of your house, and lets say you wanted cobble stone to make it look impressive in front of your house. It does not make the street or sidewalk yours. Nor do you have the right to choose who uses it when and or how. You can not enforce your rules upon another citizen on how they choose to walk or smoke on the sidewalk in front of your home. Yes you would still be required to maintain it so that it is safe to walk upon.
1. (c) Ball state does not maintain or have parking meters anywhere on public roads. Because They can’t. BSU’s Parking meters are strictly on BSU Property, not on actual Public roads. The meters alongside Riverside road by Christy Woods Park are Munice Meters Enforced by Munice. The Prices and fines are different for those meters as opposed to Ball States Fines. (surprisingly the fines by the city are cheaper than BSU’s)
1. (d) *However Ball State does have sidewalks that are Private. i.e. sidewalks such as the cow path, the crumbling sidewalks that pass through the quad just to name a few are actually Private sidewalks. At that point i suppose they could internally take some sort of action, assuming you are a student. If you are not a student the only logical thing they could do is possibly issue a No trespass order.
2. Short answer is No. I must remind you My discussion was concerning Public Sidewalks only. None the less.
The terms “Students” and “School” in Indiana law is usually interpreted for students and/or schools/properties involving K-12, but can also include preschools and some qualifying day cares.
Universities and Colleges Take a different meaning all together legally speaking. Though those terms could potentially apply to college level academia, but generally such would not be applied because College is mainly optional. Also, While public universities do receive funds from the state. You still have to pay, out of pocket to attend, i.e. your tuition. Since this is the case the state is subsidizing your in state tuition at a Public University to an extent for its residences or citizens however you choose to look at it.
K-12 is mandates your attendance, up until a certain age or grade level in Indiana at least. The majority of students in college are adults, certain laws do not apply.
2. (b) But you bring up an interesting argument about K-12 education property. As long as the side walk or road leading to or in front of the such said school is along a public road. You are free to smoke on it assuming that sidewalk is more than 8 feet away from the entrance of the building.
But, Being on a path that is not part of the public sidewalk is where it gets fishy. So your answer there is no you can not smoke there. But if you do, they could ask you to leave, or extinguish your smoke. If you don not leave then it is a matter of trespassing. Using a public sidewalk along side a public road is not considered trespassing. Neither would be driving on that road. Even if you had a no trespass order against you say for the K-12 school.
3. Ball state’s actual objective is to make their Health Insurance premiums lower. This is about money not actually about appearing cleaner. “Healthier cleaner place to work and study” is actually secondary if not guise of the whole thing. Think about it this way if they really wanted the Campus to be cleaner for visitors etc. They would Not allow smoking at the stadium for foot ball tailgate. However, they do realize they would upset fans, and previous alumni by doing this. So they have created an exception to appease their visitors.
3. (b) you are right a lot of public institutions have tried to make no smoking bans. Even Ivy Tech has done so. But Ivy Tech has been smart enough and gracious enough to inform its students that smoking along the public sidewalks of the public road they can not control. Soon I will have a picture next time I am in the Lawrence area again and can take a picture of it. (they obviously have an intelligent legal team working for them, and know damn well they can not enforce their policies on a public sidewalk)
3. (c) Unfortunately Ball State Mandates that New Freshman who’s homes are more than 60 Mile radius from Ball state Live on campus. For those people Ball State is their place of residency. (legally Dorm living is not a permanent address but more like a hotel room address) none the less. Students live here, by choice or by sheer obligation. No one made them choose Ball State. But none the less why should someone have to leave the comfort of their shared leased property.
4. Staff: Staff unfortunately are bound by conditions of employment. Indiana is an At will state. Meaning you can quit your job provided you don’t have a specific contract stating a set term of employment. You have no legal duty to give your employer any notice of you leaving your job. But at the same time your employer has not legal duty to give you any notice of termination. They could fire your tomorrow for what ever reason they see fit.
It would be unwise to smoke along the public sidewalk in front of campus if you are an employee of this University in any shape or form. You could loose your job. So to those individuals smoke in your car or off campus.
Thank you for your thought out questions and statements. I appreciate them greatly. As far as intimidation that section was more or less just a food for thought section for the reader. I never implied that Ball state was intimidating anyone.
But I give you some more food for thought. Ball State is a Public State University. Not a private institution Like N.D. University. So technically the whole University is just as Public as a Public Library.
*I am not a lawyer, I do not have a j.d. Degree. all Legal is my personal conclusions and interpretations on current and previous law research. I encourage everyone to do their own research. I am merely pointing out facts to the best of my knowledge. Knowledge I have obtained through such said research. Again, I have pointed out places to start looking. And by finding those references provided earlier in the original post. It should enable you to navigate and find these facts and others for yourself.
Authors final thoughts:
I feel that it would be prudent of Ball State to have a few Dedicated Smoking areas for students living here, and those who are commuting. Just for the sake of the safety of the students. Or at the very least to maintain the illusion that Ball State takes the safety of their students seriously. But than again, any student that was on campus last year for the “supposed armed gunman” knows. Ball State made little to no effort to ensure the campus was truly safe.