Andrew Holbrook-WVU Smoke Free

We started off trying to do a story about a young child that was bitten by a dog but the source of the story in our group could not get corporation from the mother and we had to change the story idea a week before the due date. That was a bad way to start the project.

So we had to think of something quick and we chose to do a story on the proposed smoking ban on the main campus of WVU.

Doing a story about banning smoking on campus was a lot easier than I expected. As a smoker I am naturally against the ordinance or even the idea of banning smoking. We went the first public hearing and as I suspected there weren’t that many people in the meeting. I thought I would interview people and then not pay attention because of my natural bias to the story.

As it turns out I didn’t have a natural bias for either part of the story. I was actually very interested in the story and started trying to find some really good interviews. I became passionate about what was going on the possibility about the future on campus.

Before the story we had a bit of misinformation from interviews. There was the whole “15 feet away from all the buildings,” and “there are designated smoking areas,” and what the original ruling back in 1990 said. What we found out was that there was a complete smoking ban on the health sciences center and that employees who smoked were forced to their cars or the football parking lot.

The biggest problem with not having time to fully explore this idea was that we didn’t really get the interviews I wanted. I wanted to talk to the head of security at the health science center and also someone on the panel that is exploring the final propositions for the rules at the school. I wanted to know if there was a complete ban how would they enforce it during football games and things like that. I wanted to know who had the panel had talked to from other schools that have already passed.

Had I had more time I think I could have gotten a few more people than just people on the street and the members of Tobacco Free Mountaineers.

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