New additions to UNC Charlotte’s campus this year are the new “Sit Your Butt Down” campaign signs. After being asked by Chancellor Phillip L. Dubois in March 2013, Shawnte Elbert and her team at the Center for Wellness Promotion worked to install a campaign to educate the campus about the university’s tobacco policy.
“Our current policy is to smoke only in designated smoking areas,” said Elbert. “It also talks about smoking a certain amount of feet from buildings.”
Ebert shares, “At some schools, there are fines [for smoking ‘illegally’], but the university is not looking into fines right now.”
Elbert and her team searched for something “catchy” to promote this policy to students, faculty and staff. The slogan “Sit Your Butt Down” came in an early planning meeting when Elbert mentioned, “I just want students to sit their butts down when they are smoking.”
From there, the slogan stuck and the campaign took off.
They also incorporated “Breathe Easy” into the campaign, “to encourage students to put out their tobacco products while they are smoking in the designated areas,” Elbert said.
Campaign information was added to the employee PowerPoint as well as presented at SOAR sessions over the summer.
Elbert says the campus response has been, “So far so good. The response from students has been ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’”
“Even the smokers have been very happy about [the campaign],” Elbert says.
Elbert reports that the campaign is ongoing. She hopes to receive more information on the jumbo-tron in South Village.
As well as promoting the campaign, the Center for Wellness Promotion also offers free, tobacco sensation consultations. Walk-in appointments are available as well as referrals from the Counseling Center or the Health Center. Elbert shares, “Appointments are done on a case-by-case basis. I do not have a signature way of helping somebody quit; I cater my services based on where they are in behavior change.”
For students that are interested, there are a variety of events to volunteer at if you go to wellness.uncc.edu.