Tobacco policy up in smoke

Staff Editorial

In the past several years, we have sat wondering exactly what the smoking policy was on campus, but up until March 11 it had seemed even SGA couldn’t make up its mind.

During one of SGA’s most recent meetings, it was made to seem that they, as the student government, knew better then what we do as far as what we do to our bodies.

But as luck would have it, SGA President Alex Dominguez finally listened about redoing the outdated surveys that were from three years ago.

On March 11, SGA Vice-President Jimmy Moran was outside of the campus center passing out the surveys.

With the new surveys, we can hope that it gives SGA a new direction on what the student body is wanting for the campus instead of having a bunch of senators and the dean of Allied Health and Nursing telling us what we can and can’t put into our systems.

We would hope that it wouldn’t just be a case of SGA basically telling us, “Hey we are the ones who know better, and you don’t.”

But even during the meeting that was held between the president and senators, they couldn’t decide on which would be a better course of action to take.

On the new surveys, students were given three options concerning how the campus would proceed with the smoking policy. The choices were as follows: that we didn’t care and smoking didn’t bother us, designated areas for the smokers, or a completely tobacco-free campus.

But there seems to be more smokers than non-smokers on campus recently, and for the most part, students are following the federal law, which states that smokers need to be 20 feet from a building.

So instead of enforcing the strict tobacco-free policy on campus, designated areas seems to be the better option and way to go.

Yes, there are inspections that have to be done stating that the college put them in correctly, but it would seem a better idea than forcing students to conform to a tobacco-free policy.

The designated areas would take the smokers away from the non-smokers, and this would give the faculty a place to go as well, and not be a “headache” to the dean of Allied Health and Nursing, as she happened to put it during the meeting.

The concerning factor is that most of the senators that are currently members on the SGA board won’t even be here when the roll out for this policy takes place.

So why push an issue if they won’t be around to even see it through?

SGA needs to not just take into account of their views, but also ours, which we can hope that with the new surveys, they do.

But you have to wonder if we, as the student body, voice our opinion and it comes out different then what SGA thinks, will they listen to the fact that we would prefer to have the designated areas or still continue to have the policy by which federal law permits.