SGA resolution requests smoking-only areas on campus

Students take a smoke break outside of the Guillot University Center January 2015. The Student Government Association passed a resolution to revise the campus tobacco and smoking policy Feb. 11.

The Student Government Association passed a resolution for the campus tobacco and smoking policy Feb. 11.

After three long years of debate, the revision passed with a vote of 19-1.

The revision suggests the university designate tobacco-only areas on campus. Students will not be able to use tobacco products outside of these areas. The resolution states the UNA Police Department should penalize students who break this rule.

“The resolution will still allow students to smoke on campus,” said SGA President Nick Lang. “However, it will also ask the university administration to review the current Smoking and Tobacco Policy. By doing so, we hope to find a way to move smoking and tobacco use to locations that are not in front of the university buildings or in the center of campus.”

The Shared Governance Executive Committee asked SGA to review the Smoking and Tobacco policy. SGA conducted student surveys on the smoking and tobacco policy last November, Lang said.

“(SGA) wrote the resolution according to the results from the survey, discussions with students and polls at SGA events,” said Chair of the Student Welfare Committee Mollie Schaefer. “As SGA, we are here to serve the students, so we didn’t want to write something that the students couldn’t get behind. So, the poll was referenced often in the writing sessions because that was the clearest data on what students want.”

SGA presented the resolution during a senate meeting and passed an amendment stating each residence hall should have a smoking area nearby.

During the meeting, SGA did a good job of considering student opinion when many other universities do not show the same consideration, said Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson.

“I’m proud of the work (SGA has) achieved, and I hope that students can stand with this resolution,” Schaefer said. “If there are ever any questions about the issue, I hope to answer them to the best of my ability.

She said she hopes SGA is serving the students the best they can.

“I think (smoking areas) would be kind of inconvenient honestly,” said freshman Perry Jackson.

Senior Kaitlyn Wilson said she is happy with the resolution.

“Since there are negative health implications associated with smoking and secondhand smoke, I think there should be designated spots for smoking,” she said.

“I think (smoking areas) would be kind of inconvenient ho honestly

Wilson said. “That way, students who wish to smoke still have the freedom to do so, without being bothersome to students who don’t want to be around it.”

Freshman Jun Nadatamo said he agrees with the resolution because of the negative impacts smoking has on one’s health.