Smoking ban for terrace of Theatre Cafe Vrijhof

| Rik Visschedijk

As of last Monday, a smoking ban is in effect on the terrace of the Theatre Cafe and in front of the entrances to the Vrijhof at the request of the building’s main tenant, Hans Oeloff (director of the Centre for Educational Support, CES). ‘Employees are bothered by the smoke rising up along the wall,’ says Oeloff.

Oeloff had heard from his employees and during the tenant meeting that the cigarette smoke is penetrating the workrooms. ‘For that reason, I have asked the Facility Department to research the possibility of a smoking ban.’ This assignment ended up on the desk of Henri Holtkamp from the Safety, Health and the Environment HR department. ‘This complaint has been heard more often,’ he explains. ‘We have finally made a decision regarding the issue. We want an open and hospitable Boulevard, but at the same time, employees should not be inconvenienced by it. Which is why we decided on a smoking ban.’

Not requested, but happy

Linda Westra of the Reservations Bureau has her office right above the terrace. ‘I did not ask for a smoking ban, as it did not bother me very much. But I am happy with it, though. The smoke really penetrates the room.’ Diversity coordinator Carla Bruynel agrees: ‘When HR asked if we were bothered by the smoke, I told them it indeed enters the room. So yes, I am rather happy with the ban.’

Uniformity on campus

Holtkamp is also investigating the other smoking provisions at the UT. ‘There is a lack of uniformity in the rules. At one building it says you are not allowed to smoke within five metres of the entrance, while somewhere else this limit is fifty metres. Some entrances have an ashtray for cigarettes next to the doors, which serves as an invitation to smoke there. Later this year, I will present a recommendation to the management team of the Facilities Department, taking into consideration both hospitality and the right to have a smoke-free workplace.’ 

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